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BC school enrollment continues to dip

The following facts provide a snapshot of British Columbia's public education system:

Enrolment for the 2012-13 school year:

  • 534,691 estimated full-time public school students this September, compared to 540,696 for the September 2011 estimate (6,005 fewer students).
  • Since 2000-01, there has been a decrease of more than 63,000 students.
  • 58,962 estimated English Language Learning (ELL) students - 202 fewer than last year.
  • 54,031 estimated Aboriginal students - 258 fewer than last year.
  • 23,832 estimated full-time students with special needs for 2012-13 -
    38 fewer than last year.
  • 6,903 estimated non-graduated adult students - 613 more than last

Class Size:

  • At 16.7 the ratio of students per teacher/administrator has remained relatively stable over the past decade.
  • For the sixth consecutive year, more than 94 per cent of classes in school districts throughout BC had 30 or fewer students.
  • In 2011-12, 99 per cent of classes had 32 or fewer students.
  • A total of 4,485 classes had 15 or fewer students in 2011-12.
  • There were 259 more full time equivalent education assistants in 2011-12 compared to the year before, bringing the total to 9,037.


  • Estimated operating funding to school districts is a record $4.725 billion this year - a $4-million increase over 2011-12.
  • Since 2000-01, government has increased funding to BC public schools by nearly $1.4 billion: a 26 per cent increase in operating funding ($981 million) and $407 million in one-time grants.
  • The average per-pupil funding for 2012-13 is now an estimated $8,493, up 36 per cent since 2000-01.
  • Total funding for students with special needs is now an estimated $866 million for 2012-13.
  • The new Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) will provide an additional $195 million over three years for school districts to:

1. Hire additional teachers and special education assistants.
2. Provide additional teaching time.
3. Support professional development and training to help teachers meet
complex needs in their classrooms.

  • To support BC's Education Plan, $10.7 million is being provided to support early reading in every school district for students in kindergarten to Grade 3.

Early Learning:

  • StrongStart BC centres build on the success of Ready, Set, Learn, a kindergarten readiness program.
  • As of September 2012, there are 326 funded StrongStart BC programs.
  • In 2011-12, there were more than 643,000 visits to StrongStart BC programs with more than 33,000 children participating. That's 2,000 more children participating and an increase of 50,000 visits compared to 2010-11.


  • The provincial six-year completion rate was 81 per cent in 2010-11.
  • The average pass rate for courses with required provincial exams was 96 per cent.
  • 990 students received a BC school completion certificate in 2010- 11. These certificates recognize the accomplishments of students, including students with special needs, who succeed in meeting the goals of their educational program other than graduation.
  • 78,650 students took at least one online (distributed learning) course in 2011-12. That compares to just 33,022 students four years ago. 

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