Tasmania Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff said that the tabling of the Education Act Bill today marks a monumental day for education in Tasmania.
Changes in the Bill represent the most significant transformation of and investment in the structural reform of education, in more than half a century.
“The Bill contains the next raft of education reform in Tasmania, following our successful high school extension initiative, because young Tasmanians deserve every opportunity to succeed.” Mr. Rockliff said.
“Through the Bill we are making the structural change and targeted investment in excess of $100 Million from 2018/19 that is necessary to give every Tasmanian a better education and greater opportunities in life.”
Greater Opportunities For Tasmanian Students
“As it stands, Tasmanians don’t have the same opportunities as other Australian students.” Mr. Rockliff said.
“Tasmanian students can leave school with up to two years less education than interstate counterparts. And it shows in our results; Tasmanians have consistently had some of the lowest educational outcomes in the country.”
“We simply cannot keep doing what’s been done in the past and expect different results.”
“This is why things have to change; Tasmanian children deserve the same opportunities as every other child across the country, and the Education Act Bill will give them this chance.” Mr. Rockliff said.
Changes in the Bill will give every Tasmanian child access to two years of quality, play based, enquiry-led, learning before starting formal schooling in year one.
“Early years are critical for the development and success of our children. Now, for the first time, these important years will receive the funding and structural reform they need to succeed. It will also increase the leaving requirements for Tasmanian students, to ensure they can make the most of their opportunities and lead full and productive lives.”
Key elements of the Bill are:
- Provision of 13 years of compulsory schooling;
- The introduction of a new voluntary school starting age for Prep of four years and six months, but maintaining the compulsory school starting age at five years to provide parents with choice;
- Lowering the non-compulsory Kindergarten starting age to three years and six months as a result;
- Raising the education and training requirements so that students must participate in education and training until they complete Year 12, attain a Certificate III, complete an apprenticeship, or until they turn 18 years of age, whichever occurs first. Exemptions will apply for students who are in full time employment;
- Providing for a new compulsory conciliation conference to help resolve reasons for continued unexplained non-attendance at school;
- Formalising dual enrolment for students with a disability to access both mainstream and support schools across government and non-government schools sectors in order to address their individual learning needs;
- Recognising, supporting and strengthening the Home Education system, including for the first time, allowing for children who are home educated to be able to partially enrol at a school as part of their home education program;
- Supporting participation and access by enabling the sharing of information between schools and other agencies when required to help manage student behaviour;
- Retaining the Schools Registration Board and making improvements to the regulatory processes by including separate and tailored processes for new schools, existing schools that are re-registering and for systems of schools to be registered;
“What we have tabled today is the result of an extensive two year consultation, which included consideration of more than 1,000 responses, over three rounds of consultation, from submissions to participation in workshops and information sessions.” Mr. Rockliff said.
“The Government has listened and changed the Bill as a result of these consultations, including making an earlier starting age voluntary to recognise that parents know what’s best for their children.”
“The Bill provides a contemporary and forward-looking framework for future generations, replacing a 20-year-old Act that failed to consider contemporary practices and research.” Mr. Rockliff said.