COVID-19 impact on schools abates


The Catholic schools in Alice Springs are operating at attendance numbers slightly higher than last year, indicating that the impact of COVID-19 has abated.
A spokeswoman says they currently have 255  students at Bath Street and 263 at Traeger. In 2019 at end the May there were 240 at Bath Street and 251 at Traeger.
A spokeswoman for St Philip’s did not disclose numbers but says the college’s attendance figures were impacted for the last two weeks of Term 1 this year.
“However, for this term absentees are lower than normal due to the fact that families aren’t holidaying and there are no cultural or sporting trips happening at the moment.”
A spokeswoman for Education Minister Selena Uibo says the numbers are being compiled and will be released on Monday, both for the NT and the regions.
UPDATE May 11 at 12.10pm
Attendance at Northern Territory government schools has returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to a media release from Ms Uibo.
The Northern Territory was the first jurisdiction in Australia to decide students would physically return to the classroom from the first day of Term 2, Monday, April 20.
Preliminary data gathered in the first two weeks of the term has shown a steady climb in attendance since day one, Term 2, when it was down 17% on the same time last year.
The unverified data shows that average attendance across the Territory for week 2, Term 2 was at 79%, slightly higher than Term 2, 2019’s average attendance rate of 78%.
It is also slightly below Term 1, pre-pandemic attendance levels of 80% Territory-wide.
The data shows at the height of nationwide pandemic shutdown measures, in Week 10, attendance Territory-wide fell to 32%.
Student attendance started to decline in Week 8, Term 1, before reaching its lowest levels in Week 10.
The final week of Term 1 – Week 11 – was largely pupil-free, to enable teachers to undertake professional development in preparation for Term 2, says the release.


  1. The students most disadvantaged by the pandemic are the remote Indigenous teenagers.
    Most board at Yirara College and are not due to return in the immediate future.
    Currently there are just 7 students in attendance from Alice Springs and town camps.
    Online teaching and learning for the remote students has predictably not been successful.
    So the students who most need an education are missing out.


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