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

Other title

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.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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Citation address


Page content

. . . . . . .. . . 2009 Structural Review of NT DET Delivering the Goods 25 March 2009 36 PBS 1b: Establish system wide, measurable targets based on long term objectives and goals for student attendance, retention, and achievement. While there have been recent public announcements of targets relating to school attendance, suggesting each school should obtain a 90% attendance record, more systematic review and establishment of targets relating to attendance, retention and achievement is required. Consider the current pattern of attendance by school and the percentage of Indigenous students, as presented in Figure 9 below, which presents school level average attendance for 2008. Participation by % Indigenous Students 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage Indigenous Students Pa rt ic ip at io n R at e PART Poly. (PART) Figure 9: School Percentage Attendance by Percent Indigenous Enrolment, 2008 There are several points to note about the current performance of the system in terms of average attendance. First, note that very few schools already meet the 90% target. Second, note that the overall relationship between mean attendance and the percentage of Indigenous students in a school is clearly strong and negative (with attendance geometrically declining as the percentage of Indigenous students increases). Third, note that there are positive exceptions to this overall pattern. Fourth, note that there are several schools that are very far below the proposed 90% benchmark, all with very high percentages of Indigenous students For schools far below the 90% benchmark, such a target is clearly unrealistic in the short term. It is also clear that many schools lie between 75% and the 90% benchmark. When considering the current performance of schools in average attendance, there are several important considerations in establishing targets. First, it is important that targets be given a time frame. If the ideal is for all schools to reach 90% average attendance, then it is clear that some schools will need more time than others in reaching that target. Second, it is clear that the system as a whole can reach the overall 90% target without all schools being there. Third, it is important to realise the any one school can reach a 90% attendance benchmark with a very low percentage of students who attend regularly. This last point requires explanation. Average school attendance is recorded eight times a year. Different students are likely to make up that 90% each time. If there is minimal overlap of students who attend each time, it is possible for a few as 43% (90% 8) of the students to attend regularly and the school average attendance still be 90%. Thus, if attendance is to be a

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