Profile of Sector


  • Enrol approximately 46,350 South Australian students and a significant number of full-fee paying overseas students.
  • Are the second largest provider of senior secondary education in the State.
  • Provide a diverse range of educational opportunities including primary only, combined, secondary only, co-educational and single sex schools.
  • Educate students within a curriculum underpinned by a diverse range of religious affiliations (Anglican, Baptist, Christian, Christadelphian, Greek Orthodox, Islamic,  Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist, Uniting) and educational philosophies (Burc, Montessori, Waldorf Steiner). The sector also includes a number of secular schools and a special school which educates students with severe intellectual disabilities.
  • Are accountable to parents, the community and governments (State/Commonwealth). The accountability of Independent schools to parents is a key strength of the sector. 
  • Have significantly increased in enrolments. From 23,498 in 1990 to over 46,300 in 2014. This growth has been most prominent in schools located in the outer suburbs and regional centres across South Australia.

Independent school students and families come from a diverse range of social, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds

The sector educates

  • 1,827 students with disabilities
  • 620 Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander students
  • 891 boarding students
  • Significant numbers of students from a language background other than English


  • All schools are funded by a mix of government (State & Commonwealth) and parent contributions.
  • State Governments provide the majority of funding to Government schools. The Australian Government provides the majority of government funding to Non-Government schools.
  • In Independent schools parents are a major contributor to their school's income.

Authorised by Carolyn Grantskalns, Chief Executive, AISSA, 301 Unley Road, Malvern 5061.