What additional support will be provided to the Northern Territory?

Download fact sheet: What additional support will be provided to the Northern Territory?

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 per cent compared to 11.5 per cent nationally. The Territory also has the largest proportion of Indigenous children, 42 per cent compared to 6 per cent nationally.[1]

Geographically, 43 per cent of all children in the Territory are enrolled in remote or very remote schools compared to 2 per cent nationally[2] and 47 per cent 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 two 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 five years of schooling.

The Closing the Gap Report 2019 states the Territory had the lowest proportion of Indigenous students at or above the national minimum standards.[4]

More must be done to 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 $2.3 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.


[2] Report on Government Services 2019, page 1 of Table 4A.8.

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

[4] Australian Government, Closing the Gap Report 2019.