The education department says they have a fix for high teacher turnover rates in Katherine.
Katherine Times began a series of special reports on Monday investigating high rates of professional churn in industries such as health, education and law.
The department has responded to those reports with a new strategy to employ more permanent teachers in Katherine.
An education department spokeswoman said the government has developed a “Teacher Permanency Strategy,” in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Employment and the Australian Education Union NT.
“Having a secure and stable workforce is a priority for the department, particularly when it comes to our teachers. We know that having consistency in the classroom positively impacts on student outcomes,” the spokeswoman said.
“The Teacher Permanency Strategy will assist the department to increase the number of permanent teachers in our schools and ensure that we continue to deliver consistent high quality education to students.
“The strategy will provide schools with a streamlined process to appoint existing teachers who are currently on contract and who meet eligibility criteria, to a permanent position. The numbers will be determined at a school level, within the guidelines provided.
The spokeswoman said schools are encouraged to use this opportunity which is available until October 9 2018.
“An additional $20 million allocated to 2017 global school budgets has enabled schools to recruit additional staff, which has resulted in an increase in teachers in our schools across the Northern Territory,” the spokeswoman said.
Australian Education Union NT branch secretary Adam Lampe said Katherine traditionally has the highest turnover of teachers in the NT.
‘More than half the teachers in government schools in Katherine are on contracts and that indicates a large turnover of staff.
“Having most of your teachers on contracts shows that the teaching force has not been around for a very long time,” he said.
“A high quality of education is achieved when you have the same teacher in front of the kids, it makes them feel secure.”