The NT News this week is running a series of articles on NT. Schools that have to do with enrolments, pup[il/teacher ratios and schools gaining or schools losing students. The columns have drawn on information available from AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School). The full details of all schools in the NT under these headings are available on the NT News online platform. Both government and private schools along with the geographical location of all schools have been considered.
In overall terms our pupil to teacher ratios look rosy. They are predicated on the number of students on the roll divided by the number of full time teacher equivalents on staff. However, it does not take into account that many full time teachers do not have their own classes. They offer specialist services (Art, PE, Languages, Music) to the whole school so do not have their own full time dedicated classroom groups. This means that full time classroom teachers have many more students to teach than statistics might imply.
The rather ad hoc rules and attitudes prevailing in relation to attendance in Indigenous Schools is also a detractor.
Principals of government schools do not have the same rights to exclude or expel students as is provided for their counterparts in public schools. This can play on school health and organisational well being.
This can also be a reason for parents taking students from government schools and enrolling in private schools. That is because the teaching time in government schools can be substantially disrupted by teachers having to work on student control, discipline and management.
Fees charged by private schools can mean some students who are in government schools are there for financial rather than preferential reasons. These students can sometimes be reluctant and reflect a resentment that it is for reasons of finance that they are part of the public system.
The NT News columns are interesting and informative. This post is aimed at covering some background elements that may impact upon the offered revelations.