A Northern Territory school education consists of six years of primary schooling, including one transition year, three years of middle schooling, and three years of secondary schooling. In the beginning of 2007, the Northern Territory introduced Middle School for Years 7–9 and High School for Years 10–12.
Northern Territory children generally begin school at age five. On completing secondary school, students earn the Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE). Students who successfully complete their secondary education also receive a tertiary entrance ranking, or ENTER score, to determine university admittance. An International Baccalaureate is offered at one school in the Territory – Kormilda College.
Northern Territory schools are either publicly or privately funded. Public schools, also known as state or government schools, are funded and run directly by the Department of Employment, Education and Training. Private fee-paying schools include schools run by the Catholic Church and independent schools, some elite ones similar to English public schools.
Some Northern Territory Independent schools are affiliated with Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican, Greek Orthodox or Seventh-day Adventist churches, but include non church schools and an Indigenous school.
As of 2009, the Northern Territory had 151 public schools, 15 Catholic schools and 21 independent schools. 39,492 students were enrolled in schools around the Territory with 29,175 in public schools, and 9,882 in independent schools. The Northern Territory has about 4,000 full-time teachers.
The Northern Territory has one university. Northern Territory University (now called Charles Darwin University) enrolled its first student in 1987. Charles Darwin University had about 19,000 students enrolled: about 5500 higher education students and about 13500 students on vocational education and training (VET) courses. The first tertiary institution in the territory was the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (established in mid 1960s).
The Northern Territory Library is the Territory’s research and reference library. It is responsible for collecting and preserving the Northern Territory documentary heritage and making it available through a range of programs and services. Material in the collection includes books, newspapers, magazines, journals, manuscripts, maps, pictures, objects, sound and video recordings and databases.