22 January 2024

NT Government boosts Back to School Payment Scheme

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Back to school

The NT Back to School Payment Scheme is available for all school students, including preschool and registered home-schooling students. Photo: iStock.

The Territory Government has announced it will boost the amount paid to parents under its Back to School Payment Scheme to $200 per child for 2024.

The payment – up from $150 – is available for all school students, including preschool and registered home-schooling students, regardless of whether they attend a government or non-government school in the Territory.

A 13 January release says the payment can be redeemed through the students’ schools up until the end of Term 1, and is designed to cover expenses such as uniforms, stationery and textbooks, or as credit towards school excursions, camps, student ID cards, student photography, elective activities and tuition fees.

But the payment cannot be used for things such as voluntary parent contributions or donations to the school, canteen purchases, cash including refunds for purchased goods or services. It is also not able to be transferred between students or to another school.

It says the scheme had a 95 per cent redemption rate in 2023, with 41,173 out of 43,332 eligible students accessing the scheme.

In addition to the Back to School Payment Scheme, Territory families are also eligible for a $100 sports voucher per child, per semester, for use at more than 350 sport and recreation providers.

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Chief Minister Eva Lawler said the extra $50 would allow for an extra school uniform to be purchased, or for an excursion to be attended.

“We know some Territorians are doing it tough, and the Back to School Payment Scheme is one way we can help ease the financial burden of the return to school for Territory families,” she said.

“Every Territory child deserves the best start in life and this scheme helps families to provide the necessities kids need to get their year off to a good start.”

Minister for Education Mark Monaghan said the government didn’t want children to miss out or parents to feel the sting.

“These vouchers can help pay for textbooks or uniforms, or helping students attend camps and excursions,” he said.

“We are focused on assisting Territorians with the cost of living, this is why we have made this payment boost.”

More information on the Back to School Payment Scheme is available at schools, or online.

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