Release type: Joint Media Release


Up to $134.7 million for Smarter Schools in the Northern Territory


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, and the Northern Territory Minister for Education and Training, Chris Burns, today announced that 130 Territory schools will benefit from up to $134.7 million in Smarter Schools funding.

The Rudd and Henderson Government are working in partnership to improve school capabilities and build education outcomes across the Territory.

“The Smarter Schools National Partnership between the Henderson and Rudd Governments delivers funding to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes, teacher quality and address educational disadvantage,” Commonwealth Education Minister Julia Gillard said.

“Together with greater school transparency and a new National Curriculum, this partnership will deliver an Education Revolution to all NT schools.”

These Smarter Schools National Partnerships will deliver:

  • The establishment of Centres of Excellence at high performing schools in very remote localities which will act as hubs for teachers.
  • Virtual schooling service to provide senior secondary and vocational students with online access to specialised courses.
  • The piloting of new approaches to leadership to support principals to better engage with parents, students and the community with the school.
  • Pre-service program to improve the attractiveness and retention of quality graduates to remote schools.

“Nationally, the Federal Government is committing over $2.5 billion to these reforms, including $1.5 billion to Low Socio-economic Status (SES) School Communities, $540 million for Literacy and Numeracy and $550 million for Improving Teacher Quality. The Northern Territory Government is also providing significant funding,” Ms Gillard said.

“In addition to these partnerships, another school in the NT (Humpty Doo Primary School) will receive funding to lift literacy and numeracy standards.

“This school was identified from data available on the new My School website as in need of extra support to lift standards, but was not initially identified as schools that would benefit from the Partnerships.”

“Without the unprecedented transparency of My School, the Government would not have been able to target funding to this school,” Ms Gillard said.

Territory Education Minister Chris Burns said the partnership agreement will play a vital role in supporting the Territory Government’s Smart Territory strategy and 2030 Plan.

“Delivering quality education throughout the Territory is a key priority of the Henderson Government and this agreement will increase our capacity to do more for our students, schools and education staff,” Dr Burns said.

“It will target our lower socio-economic schools that need extra support to help improve learning outcomes with $70 million.

“A strong focus will remain on improving education for Indigenous Territorians with $44 million to follow on education programs introduced under NT Emergency Response.

“Boosting resources to target literacy and numeracy results, and funding to target teacher quality are key components under this agreement.

“The Commonwealth has offered further incentives in this partnership to reach targets with an extra $10 million available in reward funding for reaching literacy, numeracy targets and developing teacher quality.”

The Smarter Schools National Partnership Agreement includes:

  • $70 million targeted at low-socio economic schools from 2009-15
    • 113 (approximately 60 per cent) of Territory schools will be eligible to participate in this reform and access funding
    • A strong focus on improving literacy and numeracy.
  • $4.5 million for Literacy and Numeracy from 2009-12
    • Regional and system initiatives to support the implementation of evidence based practice in schools that will build on existing good practice
    • This is targeted at 19 schools to improve numeracy and literacy outcomes using evidence-based strategies to accelerate improvements. This strategy is called the Maximising Improvement in Literacy and Numeracy (MILaN)
    • There is the potential to receive up to $10.5 million in reward funding in this area.
  • $1 million for Improving Teacher Quality from 2009-12
    • This funding will support the Territory’s work to boost teacher quality by targeting the areas of recruitment, training, placement, development and retention.
    • There is the potential access up to $4.2 million in reward funding if targets are met.

The Northern Territory is also receiving $44 million under a special Closing the Gap - Enhancing Education National Partnership from 2009-12.

This funding will target 76 schools and will strengthen and maintain measures introduced under the Northern Territory Emergency Response. A strong focus on improving literacy and numeracy is part of this funding.

More information, including a full list of schools receiving funding, is available at: