High Schools & Colleges

Overview

The Liberals have committed to extending all Tasmanian high schools to year 12 by 2022, while keeping all colleges open. Five schools are due to be extended for school year 2019 if elected. The Liberals have set a target of 75% TCE attainment by 2022, and the year 12 apparent retention rate to 80%. $24.5m in recurrent funding in schools over four years and $6m for capital upgrades supports the policy.

TasCOSS Commentary

Extending high schools through to year 12 facilitates more Tasmanian young people to complete their schooling. Tasmania’s school retention rate has been low historically, and our school completion rate continues to lag the nation. Only the ACT has adopted a similar model of separate colleges, with very different underlying geography; Tasmania has a much larger gap in student achievement at year 12 than it does at year 9. Even in urban areas, year 12 completion lags comparable schools in other states (Ramsay and Rowan 2016). The policy is evidence-based, equitable, and supports a strong future for Tasmanians.

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High Schools and Colleges

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Industry Initiatives & Training

The policy is laudable insofar as it protects TasTAFE within a contestable funding market it cannot succeed within for structural reasons.

Built Infrastructure

While investment in better facilities for Tasmania’s state schools is welcome, as is the investment in early learning and years 11 and 12, it is not clear whether capital works should be the most urgent area of education expenditure for the Tasmanian Government.

School Workforce

Evidence does suggest (not always conclusively) that out-of-field teaching diminishes student results.

Early Childhood Intervention Service

If the ECIS were discontinued—a possibility this policy leaves open—there would be a vacuum of support for children with a disability or a developmental delay at their schools.

Access to Education

The existing scheme relies on IQ cut-offs and does not conceive of funding matched to a diversity of student needs and capabilities.