This submission has been informed by consultations with NTCOSS members, and through NTCOSS’
Youth Voice project.
The NT Department of Education’s ‘Strategic Framework 2018-2022’ emphasises partnerships, focusing on holistic supports for children, greater community engagement, and providing differentiated support with evidence-based programs to schools. It was a positive step toward engaging vulnerable children and their families in education. The Indigenous Education Strategy and Social Emotional Learning curriculum, which emphasise the need for culturally safe and appropriate programs as well as trauma and therapeutic-based practices, enforce this commitment.
However, concerns were raised in consultations with NTCOSS members regarding the capacity of education bodies to administer the above strategies. While it was noted that these strategies indicate a move towards better practice regarding working with children and their families who are experiencing disadvantage and vulnerabilities, the autonomous nature of schools may result in a lack of consistency or variances in program delivery. Conversely, the rigidity of national curriculum was identified as locking schools into modes of delivery that are not place-based, community-led and culturally responsive.
Please view our full submission here.