Changes to school term dates

Commencing in 2018, Northern Territory (NT) government schools will operate with new school term dates and holiday breaks.

The new dates have been set well in advance in order to assist forward planning and national coordination.

The new school term dates and holiday breaks have been approved for a five-year period, from 2018 to 2022.

Gunbalanya and Lajamanu Schools will continue to operate under their unique school calendars to suit the context of their respective communities.

Go to the Northern Territory Government website for the 2016 school calendars and 2017 and 2018 school term dates.

2018 term dates

From 2018, term and semester breaks will be in a 1,3,2,6 weeks break model compared to the current 1,4,1,6 model. 

This means a three-week break in June and July and a longer two-week break before Term 4. The Christmas break is still six weeks.

Term 1 will run for 11 weeks, Terms 2 and 3 for 10 weeks and Term 4 for nine weeks.

Benefits of the new term dates

The new pattern for term dates:

  • provides no reduction in the teaching and learning time for students but rather better timing to maximise student participation and coordination
  • reflects evidence-based research that identifies students’ school attendance and participation in learning is generally at the highest point at the start of the school year
  • provides greater teaching and learning time for Year 12 students by better aligning with NT Certificate of Education and Training timing - this will provide Year 12 students with the opportunity to achieve the best outcomes in their final assessments.


You can contact school operations for more information by calling (08) 8901 1371 or emailing

Last updated: 18 April 2016