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Schools record falling pupil numbers

The ever-decreasing number of children starting school in the past few years is having a knock-on effect in secondary education.

The Federal Statistics Office has for the first time recorded a 0.7 per cent fall in the number of students attending high schools.

School year statistics for 2006-2007 also found that the number of children in pre-school had decreased – by 1.9 per cent – after having risen in the two previous years.

According to the statistics office, the generations with more schoolchildren – born when the birth rate was higher – have now finished compulsory schooling. The next generations have fewer children.

In Switzerland the birth rate currently stands at 1.44 children per woman, having dropped from 2.7 in 1964. In neighbouring Germany the figure stands at 1.37 and Italy, 1.33. France bucks the trend at 1.90.

The percentage of foreign pupil in Swiss schools was stable at 24 per cent.

The outlook for tertiary education is brighter, where numbers rose by 3.9 per cent during the last school year.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR