School Funding

Since the current CLP government came to power, Northern Territory schools have endured three years of cuts to their budgets

Over 160 teachers have been cut since 2011.

Join our campaign to demand that all members of Parliament and candidates in this year's election commit to reversing the cuts to education. The AEU NT will be making sure our message is heard far and wide. 

We demand:

  • That all schools are funded based on need
  • That funding arrangements, including the resourcing model, are fair and transparent
  • That all federal funding for education such as Gonski money is allocated to schools in the manner it was intended.
  • An end to the use of the Effective Enrolment measure, which discriminates against poorer students and communities, particularly Indigenous students
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About funding cuts in Northern Territory schools

This government has implemented the Global Funding model, which means that school principals are responsible for almost all the expenses incurred by their school, including staff salaries. Under this model, which purports to be needs-based, each school was deemed to be over or under funded. Those deemed to be over funded are ‘transitioning down’ to a lower budget. There are many educational impacts of this model and these are outlined in detail in our blog entitled 'Observations of the Impacts of Global Funding'.

Under the guise of the new model, further cuts have been implemented and many of our schools are essentially operating in deficit - some are as much as $800,000 in the red. It is up to principals to make cuts until their budgets are under control. Many specialist programs and teachers have been lost as a result of this new model.

Special programs are being lost

Some specialist teachers, such as special education teachers, have been lost and the impacts on students are dire. Essentially, principals are totally responsible for the type of positions they choose to have in their schools and we believe that many choices are driven by financial rather than educational motives.

Schools in areas of lower SES are suffering the worst because the cuts to funding, combined with ‘Effective Enrolment’, a mechanism which determines funding levels based on students’ rates of attendance, have been pushed beyond the limits of what is an acceptable level of funding to provide equitable provision of education to all our students.

What the AEU is doing

The AEU NT is lobbying for an adequate needs-based funding model in order to allow teachers and educators to support all students, regardless of background, to achieve their full potential. We are calling for a reversal of the cuts to schools teachers and students have endured since 2013.

Since the CLP came to power

  • More than 160 teaching positions lost - 5% of the teaching workforce
  • 10% of the Education Department workforce cut overall
  • A loss of $1000 in per student funding
  • 14% of the Department's Indigenous workforce cut in the last financial year alone

Since the CLP came to power

We actively seek to improve Australian education, both locally and nationally


Our membership are passionate about education issues whether locally, nationally or globally. Support us to ensure the future of Territory education.

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The Australian Education Union represents and advocates for all teaching staff in public education, as well as many support workers.

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