Studying in Northern Territory schools

Northern Territory (NT) schools start with transition class then move to years 1 through to 12. International students often commence in senior secondary for years 10, 11 and 12. There are two types of schools in Australia - independent (sometimes called private schools) and government schools.

Studying in NT schools and colleges offers you:

  • entry pathway into Charles Darwin University and other Australian universities
  • English language instruction
  • many subjects to choose from including mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, artistic studies and vocational education and training (VET) courses
  • specialist modern facilities including libraries, laboratories, gymnasiums, music and drama studios and sporting fields
  • academic and wellbeing support for students from qualified teachers and support staff.

Students receive an excellent education in a supportive, safe and caring environment.

The Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET) is awarded at the end of year 12 to students who successfully meet it's requirements. With the right combination of subjects, students may then qualify for an Australian Tertiary Entrance Rank (ATAR). An ATAR is recognised by universities internationally and at all universities in Australia.

The following education providers deliver a school education in Australia's Northern Territory. 

Northern Territory Government schools 

The NT Department of Education is registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and can offer places to international students at any government school.

These NT Government schools in Darwin have intensive English language units:

The NT Department of Education has an international education unit which coordinates services for international students studying in government schools. This includes:

  • recruiting and placing international students (including dependents of people who hold temporary resident visas) in government schools
  • managing the homestay program for international secondary students.

To find out how to enrol at a government school, go to the Northern Territory Government website.

Private schools

Other non-government schools and colleges (known in other countries as private or independent schools) registered for international students are:

Haileybury Rendall School

Haileybury Rendall School is the newest addition to the Haileybury family. Haileybury was founded in 1892 and is one of the leading schools in Australia, with four campuses in Victoria and one in China. 

Haileybury Rendall School has adapted the best of Haileybury's academic, social justice and international programs to the education environment of the NT. We pride ourselves in drawing on Haileybury's past successes as we establish our own vision for the future. 

Our strong ties provide many opportunities for the community to join a broad range of activities. 

Developing and maintaining a strong academic culture at Haileybury Rendall School is a top priority. NAPLAN and Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) results consistently rate Haileybury as one of Australia's leading independent schools. Our academic focus utilises the highly successful explicit model of teaching in the primary years and the VCE in the senior years. 

Haileybury Rendall School's program is also enhanced by a strong commitment to develop in our students the life skills that are essential for living and working successfully as adults. We expect all our students to leave school excited by and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. 

Contact information

6057 Berrimah Road
Berrimah NT 0828
Phone: +61 8 8922 1611

Students at Haileybury Rendall School

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College, Alice Springs, caters for students from transition to year 12 with students located across three campuses: yransition to year 4 at Bath Street, year 5 to year 8 at Traeger Avenue, and year 9 to year 12 at Sadadeen Road.

The college is a systemic Catholic school responsible to the NT Catholic Education Office, in the tradition of the Marist Brothers, under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Darwin. It is a member of Marist Schools Australia.

Contact information

Sadadeen Campus
95 Sadadeen Road
Alice Springs NT 0870
Phone: +61 8 8950 6400

St John's Catholic College

At St John’s Catholic College we offer a small school environment with a reputation for providing excellence in education, as well as developing the social, emotional and spiritual well-being of our students. The college caters for students from years 7 to 12 and offers the NTCET through the South Australian Board of Studies from years 10 to 12. The school is centrally located in the Darwin CBD precinct. 

St John’s Catholic College has a reputation for the pastoral care of its students, as well as for its academic excellence. The college places academic excellence as its top priority and apart from offering the NTCET subjects which can lead to a tertiary entrance ranking (ATAR) for university study, the school also offers VET and community learning, for example, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Army Cadets.

Years 7 to 9 (middle school) aims to inspire a love of learning. The curriculum is designed to maximise the capacity of all learners to achieve the standards identified in the Australian curriculum in order to be successful learners; confident, creative individuals and active, informed citizens.

St John’s Catholic College offers a specialist, intensive English course providing new international students with minimal English, the skills they need to listen, speak and write in English and to prepare them for the academic demands towards the completion of their studies.

In addition to their academic studies, international students from St John’s Catholic College are also involved in local sports, community events, camps and exchange programs to Japan, Indonesia and China.

Recent past international students have graduated from a range of high profile universities in Australia completing a number of degrees including Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of IT and Bachelor of Business.

Contact information 

10-54 Salonika Street
The Gardens NT 0820
Phone: +61 8 8982 2222
Fax: +61 8 8982 2204

Group shot of students from St John's Catholic College

The Essington International School Darwin

(Includes The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University)

The Essington International Senior College offers the NTCET and studies in the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

Students may also complete nationally accredited certificates or an undergraduate subject as students of Charles Darwin University during their senior secondary years. 

Contact information

Chapman Road
Nightcliff NT 0812
Phone: +61 8 8985 0100
Facebook: The Essington International School and The Essington International Senior College

Students in a medical class

Page last updated 18 February 2022