$2.4 million to give greater powers to NT principals and school communities
- Minister for School Education
- Minister for Early Childhood and Youth
- Northern Territory Minister for Education and Training
The Gillard Government’s Empowering Local Schools initiative will be rolled out across 20 government and non-government schools in the Northern Territory, giving them more say over decisions in areas such as local lesson design, staffing, budgeting and building, planning and maintenance.
School Education Minister Peter Garrett today announced more than $2.4 million for the schools taking part in the first phase of the program.
“Many students in the Territory, especially indigenous students, face extra challenges in getting a quality education due to the remoteness of their school or because they live in low socio-economic areas,” Mr Garrett said.
“The best people to help students overcome these challenges are the real education experts: principals, teachers and school communities.
“That’s why we are investing in helping our principals and school communities develop new skills which will help them run their schools to better suit the needs of their students and their local communities.”
Northern Territory Minister for Education and Training Chris Burns welcomed the funding, saying it will provide even more flexibility to Territory Government schools in meeting local needs.
“Schools in the Territory already have a great deal of autonomy and giving school leaders an even greater say and more flexibility over the daily operations of their school makes sense,” he said.
“It will also encourage parents and local communities to become more involved in their school and keep students engaged in their education.”
Sixteen Government schools across the Territory, including four group schools which provide services through remote campuses to 36 communities, will benefit from a total of $757,600 in start-up grants of between $40,000 and $50,000.
Participating Government schools will be able to undertake a number of activities including:
- working more closely with community partners to deliver programs to help disadvantaged students
- helping staff develop curriculum which is more relevant to their school and students
- training school staff and school councils in areas such as risk management ,human resource management and financial governance
Two Catholic schools, MacKillop Catholic College and O’Loughlin Catholic College and two Independent schools, Nyangatjatjara College and Tiwi College will also participate in the first phase of the initiative.
Each school will receive a start-up grant of $47 350 and a further $3500 to support the schools to undertake professional development and training.
MacKillop Catholic College and O’Loughlin Catholic College will develop plans around:
- school infrastructure
- workforce and professional development
- management of schools’ educational offerings.
Nyangatjatjara College and Tiwi College will be provided with the flexibility to use their start-up grants to invest in a number of areas such as:
- Improving school governance
- Improved management of school finances and budgets
- Infrastructure planning in a school
- School leadership and recruitment and retention of principals
- Employee and human relations
- Parental and Community Engagement and
- Strategic planning for long-term sustainability.
The Northern Territory Catholic Education Office has also received $509,000 to support its transition towards greater school autonomy.
Mr Garrett said up to 1000 schools across the country will be taking part in phase one of Empowering Local Schools with the Gillard Government investing more than $64 million over the first two years.
To view a list of participating NT schools and find out more about the program visit http://www.deewr.gov.au/schooling/pages/empoweringlocalschools.aspx