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.

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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25 March 2009 41 analysis of system performance on these matters. Data on remuneration difficulties is available but requires compilation and analysis. Establishing future targets for reducing the rates of systemic failure will be possible once current rates of system failure are known. In the process of setting targets, the Department needs to develop collaborations with Charles Darwin University, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and other teacher education institutions to develop and attract teachers with requisite knowledge of English as Foreign Language / English as a Second Language expertise and cultural competence in relating with people from diversion Aboriginal communities. THEME FOUR: Increasing participation of Indigenous personnel at all levels of the system One of the major ways DET has identified for addressing its on-going staff recruitment challenge is known as the grow your own strategy. Here, the need to specifically identify and develop future staff from the current NT student and general population is correctly seen as a currently under-developed means of increasing overall interest in DET employment. For some time, the NT Government has projected the importance of the Territory adopting strategies which develop and sustain its own staff in providing a range of public services. NT DET also supports this policy. Government agencies such as NT DET emphasise this approach for several reasons self-esteem and morale, productivity and sustained commitment, comparative cost advantage being the main elements of the rationale. At present, however, there are several serious impediments to successful implementation of this policy within NT DET. First, the organisation has long found it necessary to import talent, especially new graduates, into the teaching service to meet burgeoning enrolments, especially to supply remote and very remote schools servicing Aboriginal communities. Second, these imports are often not well inducted into the teaching service and many leave within 7-9 months, feeding a churn effect which does not provide a continuous, quality learning program for many of the NTs most disadvantaged children. Third, the number and quality of teaching graduates from Charles Darwin University appears to be insufficient to meet demographic projections for the expected growth in enrolments in the years to come. Fourth and finally, NT DET does not appear to have a serious strategy for the systematic training and mentoring of Indigenous people involved in education either in schools as teachers or as principals, or in regional or central offices in senior roles. This is an example of management which fails to make most productive use of many talents and which also communicates to people in Indigenous communities that government rhetoric in Darwin is not matched by the reality of its actions on the ground. It should be clear here that we are not advocating for employment on a discriminatory basis: it is important that all Indigenous staff of NT DET are able to perform their roles with a competence that is commensurate with any other staff member. Currently, Indigenous staff tolerate being unable to gain the necessary experience and training opportunities to realistically attain senior roles in the organisation. Clearly this is indefensible as part of any future practice within DET. A major element of the grow-your-own strategy must be focused on increasing Indigenous participation in DET at all levels of the system. Mechanisms for this need to be developed which are designed to meet the level of need at hand. Before identifying those mechanisms, it is important to be very clear about the scope of the challenge. Toward that end, a single crucial recommendation has been identified:

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