Outback school that bucked the trend
Natasha Robinson; 25/2/10
Many of its students have had parents in and out of jail, brothers or sisters who were petrol sniffers, or live in homes where English is rarely spoken. But Ntaria School is the unlikely success story of remote Aboriginal Australia, bucking the trend of mass educational failure with its above-average rankings on the My School website and enormous improvements in attendance, literacy and numeracy. Ntaria School, in Hermannsburg, 130km west of Alice Springs, has resources and teachers befitting a primary school, yet as well as primary pupils, it has had to educate up to 60 secondary students. Despite this, principal Darrell Fowler – backed by dedicated teachers and a community determined to create a better future – has managed in the past two years to almost double the school’s enrolment.