School policies

The new Education Act and Education Regulations commenced 2 January 2016.

Work is currently underway to update policies, guidelines and other information sources to reflect the new Education Act and Regulations.

Read more about legislation and the changes and updates to policies following introduction of the Education Act 2015.

To find out more, contact Legislation Services by calling 08 8901 4990 or emailing

Current policies

Policies provide advice for schools, students, parents and the wider school community on the provision of education services and decision-making processes across the Northern Territory.

All policies on this website are current and enforceable. If the suggested review date has passed, the policy remains current until the review is undertaken.

Schools can create their own policies in addition to the departmental policies listed below.

Talk to your child's school about their local policies.


An allocation of 26 semesters of government school education for each child in the Northern Territory has been implemented under the new Education Act

The allocation of government school education applies to all students enrolled at Northern Territory government primary, middle and senior secondary schools from 1 January 2016.

Every student enrolled in a Northern Territory government school is entitled to receive an allocation of 26 semesters (13 years) of government school education from Transition to Year 12.

Current students will be allocated the number of semesters they need to finish school calculated from 1 January 2016. For example, a student enrolled in Year 5 at the commencement of Semester 1, 2016 will have a remaining allocation of 16 semesters, which will allow them the time they need to finish Year 12.

From now on, students who enrol in a government school at any time after Transition will be allocated the balance of semesters required to finish school at the end of Year 12.

Students can apply for an additional allocation if they need more time to complete their schooling.

Read the guidelines and application forms below for more information.


School Operations

Get the following policy documents for Assistance Animals:

Schools in the Northern Territory may, after appropriate consultation with their school community, appoint a chaplain to support the provision of pastoral care and emotional wellbeing.

National School Chaplaincy Program

The Australian Government funded National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) supports the delivery of school chaplaincy services in the Northern Territory through the provision of a conditional grant of financial assistance, which is administered by the Department of Education.

Get the following complaints policy documents.

Read more about where and how to make your complaint about your child's school, vocational education or training in school or an early childhood service.

Privacy statements can be found here.

Get the enrolment and criminal history checks for mature age students policy documents.


The Education Act outlines the enrolment, attendance and participation requirements for all children residing in the Northern Territory and establishes parameters around the enrolment of students in Northern Territory government schools.

This following policy, guidelines and procedures provide quality and consistent processes for all schools and departmental staff to adhere to when assessing student eligibility for enrolment, processing and recording student enrolments and ensuring enrolment is enforced.

Priority Enrolment Area Map

Enrolment forms

Criminal history checks for prospective mature age students

From 1 January 2016 all prospective mature age students must undertake a criminal history check to resume studies in any Northern Territory school. This applies to both government and non-government schools.

This applies to all prospective students who are 18 years of age or older and have not been enrolled in a school in the previous 12 months.

When applying to enrol in a school, mature age students must provide a criminal history record at their own expense. The criminal history record will be checked for disqualifying offences. If the applicant has a disqualifying offence they may not enrol in any school in the NT.

There are separate processes for government, Catholic and independent schools.

Government Schools

Mature age applicants for enrolment in government schools can access the application forms and guidelines below.


NT Department of Education
School Operations
GPO Box 4821 Darwin NT 0801

Non-government schools

Mature age applicants for Catholic schools should contact the Catholic Education Office:

Catholic Education Office
PO Box 219 Berrimah NT 0828
Phone: 08 8984 1400

Mature age applicants for all other independent schools should contact the Association of Independent Schools NT:

Association of Independent Schools NT
GPO Box 2085 Darwin NT 0801
Phone: 08 8981 8668

Get the following gifted and talented education policy documents:

The Northern Territory Indigenous Languages and Cultures Curriculum

The revised Northern Territory Indigenous Languages and Cultures Curriculum is now complete and available for schools. The curriculum was developed by a reference group led by Indigenous educators from across the Northern Territory.

At the heart of the curriculum is cultural knowledge, organised across three strands: Country/Land, People and Kinship, and Natural Environment. Students in Northern Territory schools come from diverse linguistic backgrounds and to cater for this diversity the NT ILC Curriculum provides four broad learner pathways:

  1. First language pathway
  2. Language Revitalisation, Revival and Renewal Pathway
  3. Second Language Learner Pathway
  4. Language and Cultural Awareness Pathway

The choice of pathway is based on the community language profile and the knowledge situation of the languages. Schools negotiate the choice of the focus language and the best language learning pathway with the school community.

Keeping Indigenous Languages and Cultures Strong

The NT ILC curriculum is part of the Northern Territory Board of Studies Keeping Indigenous Languages and Cultures Strong – A Plan for Teaching and Learning of Indigenous Languages and Cultures in the Northern Territory (the Plan).

  • …the Plan provides a long term vision and goal for building the capacity of our Indigenous leaders, sector and school leaders and classroom educators to implement teaching and learning programs in Indigenous Languages and Cultures.

The Plan aligns the teaching of Indigenous Languages and Cultures (ILC) in the Northern Territory with the Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages in the Australian Curriculum: Languages learning area.

ILC Curriculum Implementation guidelines

Guidelines for the implementation of ILC programs in schools have been developed to support schools in engaging with the Plan and the long term goals of building ILC teaching and learning capacity across the Northern Territory.

The guidelines also outline the roles and responsibilities of the regional and corporate office business units in supporting schools.

The guidelines have been developed for all NT schooling contexts; urban, remote and very remote.


For more information contact the Indigenous Languages and Cultures team: or (08) 8901 1303

Get the following departmental Information Statement

Under review

The School-Based Police Program was launched in ten government schools at the start of Term 4, 2018.

The Department of Education completed a review of the program in 2019 and the Police in Schools Guidelines are currently being redrafted in response to the recommendations of the review.

The 2018 interim guidelines will remain available for reference until the revised guidelines are published.

Get the following preschool specific policy documents.

Supporting documents

You can get the following policy documents for recording and reporting of student injuries:

Get the following policy documents for reporting of alleged misconduct of a teacher.

School representative bodies provide a way for parents and community members to be involved with decisions at schools.

There are three types of school representative bodies:

  • school council - an elected body of members for a government school
  • independent public school board - an elected body of members for government schools that are independent public schools
  • joint school representative body - an elected body of members which represent more than one government school.

Role of school representative bodies

A school representative body is the governing body of a school. They work with the school to achieve the best outcomes for students.

Independent public school boards have all the functions of a school council; however school boards focus on strategy and monitoring performance.


For more information contact the Department of Education by calling (08) 8901 1383 or emailing

Council of Government School Organisations

The Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations (NTCOGSO) is a voluntary organisation made up of members from affiliated school representative bodies.

NTCOGSO provides support for school representative bodies including training and publication of resources for members.

For more information contact:

Phone: (08) 8999 3255
Fax: (08) 8999 3254

Get the following documents for contractors entering school premises here

NDIS information for schools

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) information package for Northern Territory Government schools comprises documents which contain the appropriate documentation needed by each stakeholder group; family, provider or school.


The Northern Territory Government would like to acknowledge the  Victorian Department of Education and Training, South Australian Department of Education and Child Development and the National Disability Insurance Scheme for permission to use and adapt their information for the development of this information package.

Get the following policy and supporting documents for swimming and water safety:

These guidelines have been developed to assist teachers and principals in making informed decisions when selecting spoken, written or visual text and media to be used by the school. There are legislative requirements regarding the Australian Classification Codes and copyright laws that schools must adhere to. Additionally, students and parents have the right to make a conscientious objection to a resource or program and the school will follow these guidelines to manage such objections.

Internal guidelines regarding Trespass on School Premises can be located here (internal staff access only).

You can get the following Vocational Education and Training policy documents:

VET Delivered to Secondary Students policies and guidelines

Go to Vocational Education and Training for information on procedures for VET Delivered to Secondary Students coordination and the VET DSS program handbook.

Last updated: 31 March 2016

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