Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Vital Support for Indigenous Students

Joint Media Release with:

  • 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 has today introduced a bill to deliver the Rudd Government’s commitment to provide 200 more teachers to schools in the Northern Territory.

This Bill amends the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000, appropriating $7.162 m in additional funding for the 2008 school year for the recruitment of 50 additional teachers. $56.8 million will be provided through subsequent acts for the remaining 150 teachers over the years 2009-2011.

The funding will be provided to NT education providers to recruit and employ the additional teachers. NT education providers will be responsible for deploying and housing the teachers employed through this initiative.

Ms Gillard also announced the approval of funding for a number of complementary measures for Indigenous students in the Northern Territory.

The Government will provide over $34 million in funding to benefit Indigenous children in the Northern Territory’s remote communities, specifically:

  • $3.485 million for a quality package to support teachers, with a strong emphasis on developing a local indigenous schools workforce:
  • $7.660 million for additional classrooms to cope with anticipated increasing school enrolments and attendance;
  • $4.854 million to improve literacy standards to help to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students’ outcomes in literacy; and
  • $18.406 million for the creation of 190 jobs in NT schools for former Community Development Employment Program participants.

The Government is continuing to implement the existing education measures announced as part of the NT Intervention.

There are currently about 2,000 children of school age not enrolled in the Territory’s school system. A further 2,500 do not attend school on a regular basis. This situation must change.

The Rudd Government is committed to working cooperatively with Indigenous people and the Northern Territory Government.

The Rudd Government has also promised to build three new boarding colleges for Indigenous secondary students in the Northern Territory and to expand intensive literacy and numeracy programmes.