Federal funding to give NT schools more say

Joint Media Release
  • Minister for Education
  • Leader of the House
  • Northern Territory Minister for Education

The Australian Government will invest $1.61 million to help establish the Northern Territory’s first Independent Public Schools and increase local decision making in all government schools.

Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP welcomed the Northern Territory’s commitment to helping government schools operate more autonomously.

“The Northern Territory Minister for Education the Hon Peter Chandler MLA has shown his commitment to putting students first by helping the Northern Territory’s government schools have more say over how they operate,” Mr Pyne said.

“We know school principals and school communities are the ones on the ground and they know what is happening in their schools. So it makes sense that they are best placed to make decisions that will affect their schools.

“The Australian Government’s Independent Public Schools initiative is designed to ensure school leaders and communities have the skills to make the best decisions for students.

“The Australian Government’s investment will support the Northern Territory Government’s steps to increase the levels of autonomy in government schools,” Mr Pyne said.

Mr Chandler said Independent Public Schools will start operating in the Northern Territory from 2015 on an opt-in basis.

“A rigorous selection process has commenced with a number of schools who have indicated they’re interested in becoming an Independent Public School next year,” Mr Chandler said.

“The number one priority is that any move to become an Independent Public School is supported by the entire school community.

“The NT Government will also deliver capacity building programmes to support all principals and school leaders to implement the Territory’s school autonomy reforms.”

Additionally, the Australian Government funding will provide new professional development, online planning, reporting and performance monitoring tools that will help school leaders manage school finances and staffing.

“Over the life of the initiative it is hoped we will see many more of our schools choose to become Independent Public Schools, modelled on the highly successful Western Australian approach,” Mr Chandler said.

Mr Pyne said the Independent Public Schools initiative is part of the Australian Government’s Students First approach, helping schools to better meet the needs of students by focussing on four key areas that will make a difference. These are:

• teacher quality
• school autonomy
• parental engagement
• strengthening the curriculum

For further information, visit www.studentsfirst.gov.au.

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