Alice Top 20 NTCET graduates all from St Phillip's College


There are only three Alice Springs students in the Territory’s Top 20 Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) in 2015, and all three are from St Phillip’s College.
A record 1338 NT Year 12 students graduated, 21 one more than last year.
Lauren Northcote from Darwin High School achieved the top level and Lauren Seden from Darwin High School was the top Indigenous student, one of 187 Indigenous students who have completed the certificate.
A total of 1338 students completed the NTCET, the highest number of certificate completions since its inception, and an increase of 21 over 2014.
Minister for Education Peter Chandler said there had also been an increase in the number of Indigenous students completing the NTCET with 187 graduating, compared to 173 last year.
“Of the 187 Indigenous students graduating, 27 completed their study in their remote home communities, which is just fantastic,” Mr Chandler said.
Nine Top 20 students were from Darwin High School, three from the Essington School Darwin, two from Casuarina Senior College, one from Good Shepherd Lutheran College and two students from Katherine High School.


  1. Sad truth is that if you want your kids to have a reasonably sound education in Alice Springs you have to pay for private schooling.
    That’s not a criticism of hard working teachers in NT Government schools.
    A lot of families leave the town when they start to add up the costs.

  2. Does Mr Chandler really think it is fantastic that 27 completed their studies in their home community, when the government are trying to ensure there is no secondary education in communities and would rather that private boarding schools in other states looked after the teaching of remote Territorian kids.

  3. Regarding the high achievers in Alice Springs I would like to know what they have actually achieved. My kids have all left school – one is working in the school system and doing uni after attending a private school.
    Another who went to a public school is achieving Distinctions and High Distinctions in a Bachelor Degree in a Sydney University.
    The third attended a public school – has worked in a mission in Thailand – and has invitations to two unis – one in Adelaide and one in Sydney and wants to do a bachelor degree too.
    I wonder why after this experience they are downgrading public schools or do they deliberately try to stop kids in public schools from achieving their dreams. I really does smell like arrogance.

  4. Amazing how 12 months clouds the memory. The top NT student in 2014 was from Centralian Senior College. Not a private School and located in Alice Springs.
    [ED – The Alice Springs News Online reported last year’s results last year.]

  5. Hi Craig, I had one daughter who went to St Phillips in 2013 and was placed second in the Territory. In 2014 I had another daughter who went to Centralian Senior College (a public school – her choice) and was placed first in the Territory.
    Centralian had three in the top 20 last year … I think this discounts your comments. All schools have their good and bad years re top ranking students. Cheers.

  6. Geoff, the example of your daughter or other high ranking students doesn’t contradict the argument that Alice Springs families need to send their kids to private schools if they can afford it.
    Top students will do well anywhere, they usually receive a lot of home support and encouragement.
    But the other students are much more negatively affected by a school environment.
    For example, the low literacy levels of many students drags down the performance of the others as the teacher struggles to accommodate them.
    St Phillips has an entry test which effectively excludes lower ranked and the most disadvantaged students.
    The end result is classes of uniformly literate students and that fosters excellence.
    The public schools can’t pick and choose, they have to take all comers.
    The rapidly rising enrolments at private schools over the past 10 years show the conviction of parents that it is risky to send their child to a public school.

  7. The government funds private schools. Wrong.
    Let them fund themselves. All the middle and upperclass families that make their money out of Aboriginal welfare send there kids there. Wrong. They need to make sure their kids know they are in the upperclass.
    If you have any social conscience you should send your kids to public school and demand the government funds and supports them properly. A good education for all our kids is good for the whole community, as is all the kids from different backgrounds mucking in together, not some kids getting an arrogant idea of their privileged place in society.

  8. An excellent pastoral care program and encouraged and supported parental input.
    Well done Saints!
    You are what every school (public or private) should be.

  9. I can understand Tony Knott’s’s pride in the school where he taught so well for many years, but I can’t agree with his comment re St Phillips: “You are what every school (public or private) should be.”
    We would be in big trouble if that were true.
    Public schools like Centralian College cater for all comers, including those from low income families who can’t afford the fees set by private schools.
    Private schools like to claim they generate an atmosphere of inclusivity, but only after they have excluded a large portion of the population.
    My wife and I chose public schools in the Alice for our kids, not just because we worked in them, but because we think it gave them a better all round education … more empathy, more understanding, a greater ability to interact with a wide variety of others in a safe but less sheltered environment.
    Our kids both did very well academically and socially at Sadadeen Primary, Anzac Hill High and Centralian College, I’m glad we chose the public system.
    I might also point out that 13 of the top 20 students in the NT this year were from public schools, but more importantly they achieved a completion rate of 98% overall … a commendable result given the social and educational disadvantage that exists in the NT.


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