The Australian Capital Territory’s schools are struggling to cope with an influx of young students, with many failing to meet standards set by the State Government.
Key points:Schools in the NT are struggling as the population grows and demand for places skyrocketsMany schools have struggled to keep up with demandThe Territory is facing a growing need for young people, and many of those students have to wait longer than expectedSchools are struggling because of the increasing demand for children and the shortage of places in schoolsThe NT has a population of just over 6 million, and the population is growing by more than 7% per year.
Schools across the Territory are struggling with an increased demand for young children.
There are currently just over 50,000 places for young kids in primary schools, compared to the NT Government’s current target of 40,000.
But the NT’s primary schools are already under pressure, with some being short-staffed and others struggling to meet new standards set down by the Territory Government.
As the population of the NT grows, there is a growing demand for the school system to meet that demand, said Mark Richardson, head of education in the Territory.
“It’s just a constant issue for us, particularly in the early years, because the school population has been growing very quickly,” he said.
“Schools need to cope and it’s a challenge for us to meet the demand.”
There’s a lot of pressure on our schools.
“Many of the schools in the area are struggling, with the State’s Department of Education stating that there are currently a “substantial number of schools that are in a position where they can’t meet the current school standard”.
The NT Government is looking to introduce a new primary school standard in 2018, and to continue with that standard throughout the school year.
In its 2018 budget, the Territory government committed to “keeping schools competitive and competitive on the ground”.”
The Government has also committed to increasing the number of places available for primary school children in the coming years, and we are committed to meeting that demand,” Mr Richardson said.
He said that while schools had been struggling to keep pace with the demand, they were not necessarily in a poor financial position.”
They’re just doing it in a way that they have to do,” he told ABC News.”
The schools that have got a problem, and they are going to have to pay for that, are the ones that have the biggest financial problems.
“That’s the bottom line.”
We’re not going to get through this without the Government paying a lot more money for schools.
“But the Territory’s Minister for Education, Mark Garnett, told the ABC that schools would not be forced to close, but they would be forced “to do things differently”.”
We’ll be able [to] do some things to help [them] because we’re a very competitive state,” he explained.”
And that means you can’t have a crisis if the schools aren’t competitive and they’re not providing the quality that we need.
“But the other thing is that we are also a very generous state and we will not be turning our backs on our children.”
The NT government is also looking to implement a national education target, which will see schools in some of the nation’s biggest states, such as New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, be required to achieve a benchmark of at least 50% proficiency in maths, science, reading and writing by 2025.
The national target is aimed at ensuring that all young people have access to the skills they need to achieve their own well-being and contribute to the country.