Stages of schooling

This page has information about stages of schooling in the Northern Territory (NT).

The stages of schooling are: 

  • primary years - transition to Year 6
  • middle years - Year 7 to Year 9
  • senior years - Year 10 to Year 12.

There are primary schools, middle schools, senior secondary and comprehensive schools in the NT. More than one stage of school may take place at one location.

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

  • If your child turns six on or before the 30 June, they must be enrolled at the start of the school year.
  • If your child turns six after the 30 June they must be enrolled at the start of the following school year.

Your child can go to preschool (or Kindergarten) and transition prior to turning six. This is not compulsory. 

Primary years - transition to Year 6

Transition from preschool to primary school and from primary to middle school are a formal part of this stage of schooling.

Literacy and numeracy skills are assessed through the National Assessment Program (NAPLAN) in Year 3 and Year 5. 

Middle years - Year 7 to Year 9

Transitions into and out of the middle years are a formal part of this stage of schooling

Literacy and numeracy skills are assessed through the National Assessment Program (NAPLAN) in Year 7 and Year 9.

Senior years - Year 10 to Year 12

The senior years build on the earlier stages of schooling to develop employment-ready Territorians who are able to take advantage of many pathways open to them, including further education.

The Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) is awarded on successful completion of senior years schooling.

Your child must complete Year 10 of secondary education and participate in approved education, training or work until they turn 17.

Last updated: 27 June 2017