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

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Northern Territory Government

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

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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. . . . . . .. . . 2009 Structural Review of NT DET Delivering the Goods 25 March 2009 22 organisational strategies identified in the specific outcomes of the reviews terms of reference. Accounts of the development of group school organisations and the structure of cluster and regional offices both revealed a sequence of resource decisions that are clearly not determined by any identifiable policy or systemic rationale being implemented consistently across DET. While flexibility is always required in the day-to-day operations of any system of education, the preponderance of ad hoc decision making in NT DET has been systemically embedded to a degree that is has formally become accepted, even in the allocation of teaching staff. While the review is not in a position to specifically identify the relative amount of resource decisions made on ad hoc basis, it is clearly common and widely noted by DET personnel as a problem in need of attention. Finding 4: The system reflects a history of partial reforms, with layering of prior systemic structures, innovations and initiatives. The current DET is organised in multiple structures. Resource distribution and allocation structures differ from personnel allocation and distribution structures, which differ again from line management structures which are themselves multiple, with each division generating its own line management structure independently from the others. While each individual structure has had its purpose over time, they currently do not function in a way that makes coherent resource distribution transparent or clear. While there may well be a good reason to operate different structures (as is done in the allocation of teachers where a distinction is made between the organisational structure code and the program code to differentiate between locations of positions and funding sources), the current situation has made it difficult for the review to find reliable information in relation to basic organisational questions about how many personnel are working in which area of the department. This situation is clearly compounded by the high levels of staff turn over and large numbers of un-filled and supernumerate positions (which were around 5% of total positions in one headcount data set provided to the review). Similar layering of prior initiatives is evident in the multitude of curriculum and professional development programs supported by DET an area DET has already itself identified as in need of consolidation. Finding 5: There is a preponderance of unrelated initiatives based on the search of the silver bullet reflecting a lack of systemic coherence. The pattern of generating new programs and providing individual support for those programs has continued for some time, but a consolidation of those programs is required in order for DET to provide both deeper expertise and greater depth of delivery. There are many examples of concurrent program supports that would be better served within a larger, better supported strategic professional development and curriculum support agenda (e.g., the overlap between the middle years curricular initiatives and the many literacy support initiatives). This disconnect between professional support programs also characterises the professional development provided by human resource sections of the Department and the teaching and learning section, as well as the professional While any one innovative program may be well defended as having potentially beneficial educational effects, without coordinated and sustained implementation, there is little reason to believe any one program on its own will have enduring effects