The Territory Government will provide $3.5 million over four years starting in Budget 2010 to establish five new Centres of Excellence at senior Territory schools and a new Institute of School Leadership.
Minister for Education, Dr Chris Burns, said the new centres will deliver specialist curriculum in specific areas and bring schooling into line with higher education and training for students.
“Education is the Henderson Government’s number one priority. The Territory has a growing economy and it is important we ensure the students of today are well-placed to fill the jobs of the future,” Dr Burns said.
“The first of the five new centres will be located at Darwin High School and Casuarina Senior College.
“The centres will deliver specialised academic courses for high achieving students to help them access university courses and employment in sectors with demand for skilled workers.
“Each centre will have staff who will work closely with lecturers from Charles Darwin University and with local industry leaders to deliver specialised courses and appropriate training.”
Dr Burns said today’s announcement is part of the Territory Government’s Smart Territory strategy.
“Budget 2010 delivers now for Territory families with record spending on education and to boost schools facilities,” he said.
The first Centre of Excellence will open at Darwin High School and specialise in science, and expand into engineering in future years. Casuarina Senior College will be the second Centre of Excellence established and will specialise in Health Sciences. Both Centres will start taking students in 2011.
A further three Centres of Excellence will be established over the next four years.
The Territory Government will also establish a new Institute for School Leadership, Learning and Development in partnership with Charles Darwin University (CDU).
“Teachers and principals play a vital role in our education system and we’re committed to providing them with professional development opportunities and support,” Dr Burns said.
“The new institute will open at CDU in July and will provide professional development for current and aspiring school leaders including principals, curriculum staff and teachers.”