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HomeIssue 30Minister: school staff allocations released

Minister: school staff allocations released

‘Money not the answer for better outcomes’
Education Minister Peter Chandler says all Territory Government school principals were issued yesterday with their overall school staffing allocations for 2014.
Schools were advised of their base staffing allocation last semester, calculated on enrolments and attendance.
It is up to principals to then plan their final teacher and administration staffing configuration, to meet their school’s program needs.
“Principals will now finalise their staffing mix after taking into account their local context and school needs, and following consultations with staff,” Mr Chandler says.
“Our children’s schools and teachers are the best resourced in the country but our children’s education outcomes are the worst in the nation.
“Funnelling more money into a system that is failing our students, as Labor today suggested, is not the answer.
“Despite spending an extra $210 million dollars and hiring an extra 790 staff during its last five years in power, Labor oversaw little improvement in student results.
“Labor poured millions of dollars into establishing secondary schools in the bush and creating a middle school system, but there has been little noticeable improvement in outcomes.
“The Territory Government is determined to build a sustainable education system that is better designed to meet the needs of Territory students and improve their results.
“We are determined to apply an evidence-based approach that focuses on doing what works.
“In line with this, the Territory Government has ordered three reviews into Student – Teacher ratios, Middle Schools, and Indigenous Education.”
SOURCE: NT Government media release, issued 6pm, November 14, 2013.



  1. It is timely that the minister has now provided the rationale for the cuts, a big increase in funding bush schools has not led to NAPLAN or attendance improvements, in fact the outcomes have become even worse.
    So why fund at a high level schools that are not delivering? However, this does not explain the cuts to town schools where the outcomes have generally held their own or improved despite a school cohort that includes more and more students from bush communities.
    If the minister made the cuts according to the rationale of funding what works and not funding to a high level what isn’t working then some bush schools would suffer cuts and town schools would get increases.
    It seems that the politics of funding has influenced the execution of the policy and left the government in a difficult position in terms of explaining the logic of its cuts.

  2. There is another factor confounding the figures even more. The last time I analysed the available figures (admittedly two years ago), there was a strong pattern of many bush schools having increased numbers of students regularly attending, especially in the lower primary years, despite attendance percentages dipping. Why? Because enrolments had risen, sometimes dramatically, whilst at the same time a proportion of the newly enrolled older students had very poor attendance.
    This paradox was probably compounded by the extra mayhem in many classrooms, making them less attractive to some students who had been used to relative calm while they tried to learn. Some of these may not have been attending as regularly as they previously did, when the teachers had been able to give more attention to their individual needs.


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