Katherine High School was losing one teacher per week at the start of 2021, according to the Australian Education Union NT.
This statistic came from a union visit to the school, where teachers told AEUNT organisers they lost nine colleagues before the ninth teaching week in term one.
AEUNT branch president Jarvis Ryan said the most recent public information on staff numbers show the school has 45 teachers, meaning if the term one turnover rate continues, the school will have close to an entirely new teaching team in 2022.
"You could go through the entire staff," he said.
Katherine High School started 2021 understaffed, with five teaching positions vacant shortly before term one started.
Mr Ryan said staff members at the school are "very concerned" about the revolving door of employees at Katherine's only public high school.
He said the faculty feel the controversial scrapping of a rental subsidy for Katherine's teachers, has led to a high staff turnover rate.
Mr Ryan said concerns over school-yard fights have also been raised by the teachers, and is contributing further to the staff retention problem.
"I've had teachers tell me they just lock themselves up in classrooms when fights occur... this is highly irregular, " he said.
"It's been a problem all year."
Mr Ryan said new teachers may have been employed over the recent school holidays before term two, but maintained the high rate of staff turnover was cause for concern.
"Some may have been replaced... but that's a lot (of staff turnover)."
An NT Department of Education spokesperson confirmed there are staff vacancies at Katherine High School, with three positions currently empty.
However, the department claimed these vacancies have no "direct impact" on students.
"There are three vacancies related to staff accessing leave entitlements including maternity leave and a short term promotional opportunity," the spokesperson said.
"Parents and families can be assured that Katherine High School has strategies in place to ensure that all students attending school have access to high-quality teaching and learning programs."
Mr Ryan said the revolving door of staff will lead to bad outcomes for the student's education, because of the "unfamiliarity" between the new teachers and their class.
NT Shadow Education Minister and Katherine MLA Jo Hersey said she is aware of the high number of teachers leaving Katherine, and claimed many of the vacant positions are in the English and Maths departments.
"I have been in discussions with the Principal of Katherine High School and the Education Minister about the issues relating to staffing since I was elected last August," she said.
"It's particularly concerning that these teacher shortages include the core subjects of Maths and English."
Mrs Hersey called for a reintroduction of the rental subsidy program, to make Katherine a more attractive workplace for teachers.
"The Gunner Labor Government's failure to address the issue of housing for teachers in Katherine means it's even more difficult to attract and retain quality staff, especially with Darwin just three hours away," she said.
"Labor should seriously reconsider its decision to scrap the housing subsidy for teachers."
Mr Ryan said the faculty at Katherine High School recently submitted two petitions to the AEUNT, with one calling for the reinstatement of the rental subsidy, and the other requesting the return of their school-based police officer.
He said the petitions had 32 signatures, which represents 50 per cent of the total staff, including non-teaching employees.
A school-based police officer was reinstated at Katherine High School for "an interim period" in March.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
- Bookmark katherinetimes.com.au
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
- Follow us on Twitter: @KatherineTimes
- Follow us on Instagram @katherinetimes
- Follow us on Google News
- You can also receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.