Northern Ireland

NI schools see rise in pupil numbers

Primary school children in a classroom

The number of pupils in Northern Ireland's schools has risen by 3,000 over the past year.

2018 marks the ninth successive year in which pupil numbers have increased, according to the Department of Education (DE).

There are 174,522 pupils in primary schools alone, the highest number for almost 20 years.

It had previously been announced that schools would receive less funding for each pupil in 2018/19.

The provisional enrolment figures for the current school year have just been published by DE.

There are about 347,000 pupils in Northern Ireland's schools, with about 800 more pupils in primary schools this year than last year.

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The number of pupils in post-primaries has increased by 1,700 since 2017, to 142,237.

About 44% of those pupils go to Northern Ireland's 66 grammar schools. There are 130 non-grammar post-primaries.

The main reason for the increase in school enrolments is a rise in the four to 15 year old population in Northern Ireland.

There are also 23,576 pupils in funded pre-school education, and special school enrolments have also increased, to almost 6,000.

Three in 10 pupils in Northern Ireland are entitled to free school meals - a proportion which has remained relatively constant in recent years.

About three-quarters of a primary school's funding is dependent on its pupil numbers, and each gets a basic sum of £2,157 per pupil.

About 83% of a post-primary school's funding depends on pupil numbers.

Each school gets a basic sum of about £3,450 per pupil in years 8-12 and about £4,480 per pupil in sixth form.

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