What additional support will be provided to the Northern Territory?

Fact sheet

Many students in the Northern Territory have unique circumstances

The Australian Government recognises that some students in the Northern Territory (the Territory) live in challenging circumstances and require additional support to ensure they can achieve to the best of their abilities.

The Territory has the largest proportion of children aged 0-8 years of any state or territory in Australia, 14.1% compared to 11.5% nationally. The Territory also has the largest proportion of Indigenous children, 39.0% compared to 5.8% nationally.[1]

Geographically, 41.5% of all children in the Territory are enrolled in remote or very remote schools compared to 1.8% nationally [2] and 47% of Territory government school students have a language background other than English.[3]

The 2013 Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory found that by Year 3, Indigenous students in very remote schools in the Territory are already 2 years of schooling behind Indigenous students in very remote schools in the rest of Australia in their writing results and that by Year 9, the gap is about 5 years of schooling.

The Report on Government Services 2021 states that in 2019, the share of Year 3 students at or above the national minimum standard in numeracy in Very Remote Northern Territory was around 32.5 ± 7.0%.[4]

More must be done to help students at risk of not learning

The Australian Government recognises that by working collaboratively with the Northern Territory Government and community more can be done to improve the educational outcomes of Territory students.

To assist the Territory in its reforms in education, on top of the $2.7 billion being provided by the Australian Government to government schools in the Territory over the period 2018-2029, an additional $78.5 million is being provided over 2018-2027 to accelerate evidence-based reforms to improve student outcomes.

The Australian Government is working with the Northern Territory Government to identify and implement reforms that build on existing good practice, such as the Families as First Teachers initiative, as well as explore new opportunities to overcome known barriers to participation in education for Indigenous and disadvantaged children.

[1] Report on Government Services 2021, Table 2A.1 and 2A.4.

[2] Report on Government Services 2021, Table 4A.8.

[3] Northern Territory Department of Education, Annual Report 2018-19, page 10.

[4] Report on Government Services 2021, Table 4A.38.