Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

School attendance rates across the NT are dismal.

The Northern Territory Education Department has labelled the dismal attendance rates across the NT as concerning.

Shepherdson College at Galiwinku in north East Arnhem Land, for example, has an enrolment of 676 students.

It had an attendance rate of 31.2 per cent during Term 2, 2017. 

Stats show students struggling to attend school in NT, Judith Aisthorpe, NT News, 27 September 2017.

More than 800 assaults on Northern Territory teachers in three years.

NT Education Department figures show there have been more than 800 assaults on NT teachers in the past three years.

545 of the attacks were physical.

NT teachers have been attacked with weapons, kicked, punched and bitten.


But the Australian Education Union believes that the number of assaults could actually be double the number reported because of a NT 'culture of non-reporting'.

"Sometimes when teachers are new, or they're on contracts, they don't want to make waves," said Australian Education Union (AEU) NT branch secretary Anita Jonsberg.

"Sometimes in a school there is a culture of nothing being done about the reports and eventually staff just give up."


NT teachers need more support in dealing with violent students, but a teacher representative alleges that, when family and child services stepped in to support one student with problems, the community blamed a teacher at the school.

"There was a mob outside her house and we had to remove her for her own safety."


In another case, a NT teacher who reported an assault found that she herself was blamed by the school.

"Instead of the actual behaviour and the problem being dealt with, the teacher was blamed for putting herself in that situation," the teacher representative said.


NT Education Department deputy chief executive of school education, Marion Guppy, urged the AEU to give her their evidence of the culture of non-reporting.

NT teachers 'kicked, punched, bitten', as 800 assaults recorded in classrooms, Lucy Marks, ABC news, 12 September 2016

14-year-old Northern Territory indigenous students are reading at the level of eight-year-olds.

In the Northern Territory, a typical 14-year-old student will be reading at the level expected of an eight-year-old.

Two-thirds of the Territory's indigenous students cannot read properly, compared with 7 per cent of mainstream Australian students.

Teachers embrace a direct approach, Natasha Bita, p. 20, The Weekend Australian, 5-6 September 2015

In remote NT communities, 90 per cent of indigenous children have unemployed parents.

90 per cent of indigenous children in remote areas of the Northern Territory have unemployed parents.

Free breakfast is laid out each morning in most remote NT schools.

 Teachers embrace a direct approach, Natasha Bita, p. 20, The Weekend Australian, 5-6 September 2015

173 assaults on teachers in Northern Territory schools led to suspensions in 2015.

Northern Territory Education Department data reveals that -

194 assaults on teachers in NT schools led to suspensions in 2014.

173 assaults on teachers in NT schools led to suspensions in 2015.


Robina Cosser says - But this data is ambiguous.

Did the number of assaults on NT teachers fall - or just the number of suspensions for assault?

In the Barkly region -

Assaults on teachers rose 22 per cent in 2015.


The number of assaults on teachers in Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine was largely stable in 2015.

In the Arnhem region the number of assaults on teachers fell 59 per cent in 2015.


The definition of physical assault is broad, ranging from hitting someone to biting or grabbing them by the shirt.

Suspensions relating to assault down across Territory schools, though students and teachers are still faced with threats every day, Katina Vangopoulos, NT News, 2 January 2016

Northern Territory teachers last seven months, on average.

Northern Territory teachers stay an average of seven months in a school before leaving, according to the Creating Parity review by Andrew Forrest.

Making a difference in indigenous education, Andrew Penfold, P. 18, The Weekend Australian, 18-19 2014


The information published on this webpage is already in the public domain.

If you feel that your own point of view has not been properly represented, please contact