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All NT public schools will be ‘fully funded’ by 2029

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Today’s announcement means all public schools in the NT are expected to meet the SRS by 2029.
NT schools fully funded

The Federal Government has reached a deal with the Northern Territory (NT) to fully fund its public schools.

Appropriate school funding is determined by a measure called the Schools Resourcing Standard (SRS).

A 2023 report from the Australian Education Union (AEU) found 1% of public schools were receiving enough funding to meet the SRS, compared to 98% of private schools.

Today’s announcement means all public schools in the NT are expected to meet the SRS by 2029.

Funding measure

All schools receive a combination of federal and state/territory support.

Government financial contributions are set out in the National School Reform Agreement (NSRA). It’s a joint agreement “to lift student outcomes across Australian schools”.

The current agreement is due to expire at the end of the year.

The NT and Federal governments negotiated funding for NT schools ahead of the new NSRA.

The federal government has agreed to provide schools with 40% of the SRS, and the NT government will fund the remaining 60% by 2029.

Education Minister Jason Clare said currently, “one in five kids are not receiving funding” in the NT and that “this agreement fixes that.

National funding

The AEU is calling for “100% of funding for 100% of schools” by 2028.

The ACT is currently the only jurisdiction where public school funding is already high enough to meet the SRS.

WA announced it would fully fund its public schools last month, becoming the first state in the country to do so.

AEU President Correna Haythorpe said the government needs to improve funding in all remaining states.

Opposition

NT Shadow Minister for Education Jo Hersey called for broader reforms “to get kids into school and improve
education outcomes”.

Hersey said the funding announcement “only props up a broken system” and said the deal was “light on detail with little substance”.

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