Indigenous Schooling

The Australian Government is committed to reducing disadvantage in education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The Australian Government is committed to working with states and territories to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, including:

  • increased reading, writing and numeracy levels for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • a No Excuses approach to school attendance that will promote greater school attendance, learning and positive social experiences for Indigenous Australians
  • use of direct instruction and other forms of evidence-based phonics in remote primary schools, and
  • continuation of efforts to expand boarding school opportunities through existing scholarship programmes.

State and territory governments have primary responsibility for the delivery of school education. The Commonwealth provides funding to states, territories and non-government sectors via the Australian Education Act 2013 to support reform efforts to improve educational outcomes, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

The Department of Education is supporting Indigenous education priorities through delivering on the government’s mainstream school education policy commitments. These include:

  • a stable, simple and sustainable approach to funding
  • a robust national curriculum
  • improved quality of teaching and related support services, and
  • a greater say for teachers, principals, parents and the community about how their school is run.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010-2014

The Department of Education has responsibility for leading the Commonwealth’s contribution to the future development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2010-14. The purpose of the Plan is to assist education providers to accelerate improvements in the educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood and Schooling Programmes

As a result of Machinery of Government changes that came into effect on 18 September 2013, the responsibility for most Indigenous early childhood and schooling programmes transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. These include: