Territory Stories

2009 Structural Review of the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training : delivering the goods



2009 Structural Review of the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training : delivering the goods

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Ladwig and Sarra


Ladwig, James; Sarra, Chris


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Cover title. Report includes Northern Territory Government Media Release -" Education Restructure – Next Building Block for Excellence" by Paul Henderson.




Northern Territory -- Education

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



66 p. : col. ill. ; 30 cm.

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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25 March 2009 15 The relative gap between the measured achievement of NT Indigenous students and the other identified populations in the DET 2008 NAPLAN results are presented more directly in Figure 2 below: Reading GAP 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 3r 5r 7r 9r Year level D iff er en ce in N A PL A N s co re Gap - NT non Gap - AUS Ind Gap AUS non Figure 2: NT NAPLAN 2008 Indigenous students achievement 'GAPS', Reading Figure 2 presents the difference between the average scores of NT Indigenous students relative to the other three identified student populations shown in Figure 1. Here, the noted gaps are clearly quite large, and increase as the Year level of students goes up. While these patterns are decipherable from already reported data, presenting them in the above manner makes the overall pattern of achievement in NT schools clear. While current policy initiatives correctly note a necessary focus on attendance, retention and achievement, these graphs make it very clear that any goal to provide equitable achievements for all NT students must be a medium term goal at the earliest. No short term solution will reverse the pattern of achievement gaps that are this large and that increase over the years of a students compulsory school attendance. These graphs highlight the need for DET to strategically and very directly plan well into the future if it hopes to achieve parity of student outcome with the nation as a whole. To illustrate the simple reality, in order for the NT students who took the Year 3 NAPLAN test in 2008 to meet national averages of non-Indigenous counter-parts by Year 9, DET has five years to make up a gap for its non-Indigenous students of almost 100 points and a gap for its Indigenous students or more than 300 points on the current scales (in which mean scores are roughly 600 points in Year 9). Clearly this would require a massive effort. The scale of the current under-performance of students in NT schools makes it very clear that whatever the current system structure allows, it cannot meet the task before it.

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