Age your child attends school

If your child is between the age of 6 and 17 years they must be enrolled in school, distance education, approved home education or approved education, training and/or employment.

Age your child attends school

School is compulsory for all children from the age of 6. Your child must be at school by their sixth birthday.

To prepare your child for the compulsory years of school, you can enrol your child in preschool (or kindergarten) from the age of 4. Your child can also attend transition class in primary school when they turn 5.

Preschool and transition are recommended but are not compulsory.

Age your child can leave school

Your child must complete Year 10 of secondary education.

After Year 10, your child must stay at school or continue to participate in approved education, training or employment, or a combination of these, until they are 17 years of age.

Approved education, training or employment

If your child is under 17 and has completed Year 10, they may participate in approved education and training, or if your child is 15 years or over, paid employment or a combination of the two.

Your child must then participate full-time in one of the following:

  • approved education and/or training
  • if your child is 15:
    • full-time paid employment (an average of 25 hours a week)
    • a combination of approved education or training and paid employment.

There are penalties if your child does not participate in education, employment, training or a combination of all 3 until they are 17 years old.

Talk to your child's teacher or careers advisor at school about your child's options.

You can also contact the department by either:

Notification of arrangements

If your child has completed Year 10 and wants to leave school for other education, training or employment, you must fill in a notification of arrangements form.

Notification of arrangements form PDF (141.2 KB)
Notification of arrangements form DOCX (34.8 KB)

This form must be completed and approved before your child can leave school.

To complete the form you will need to:

  • fill in your child's details
  • ask the employer/trainer to fill out their details and the hours per week your child will be working with them
  • trainers must indicate the hours if the training is not full time.

How to return the form

You must return the form to the school where your child is enrolled or has previously been enrolled.

If your child is not enrolled in a Northern Territory school send your form by either:

  • mail: Participation and Pathways Division, Department of Education and Training, GPO Box 4821, Darwin, NT 0801
  • email:

The arrangements will be confirmed in writing with you and your employer/trainer.

Changing arrangements

If your child changes their arrangements - eg: they leave the employer or change the hours of training or employment, you must send in a new notification of arrangements form.

Last updated: 30 March 2022

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