Review welcomed as important first step to improving education outcomes

TasCOSS welcomes the announcement of an independent review of Tasmania’s education system as an important first step to improving education outcomes but urged the Government to include effective responses to socio-economic disadvantage faced by students in its Terms of Reference.

TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone, said the review presents an important opportunity to strengthen Tasmania’s education system to ensure it achieves improved educational, social and economic outcomes for every Tasmanian.

“A good education is key to combating entrenched, generational poverty, and ensuring Tasmanian children and young people living on low incomes have the same opportunity to participate in learning and enter the workforce as their peers,” Ms Picone said.

“Full resourcing of schools and classrooms should be the first point of call, however this review also needs to recognise that addressing education disadvantage can’t be solely solved in the classroom, it’s also about making sure Tasmanians can access essential services — such as health services and appropriate housing — to ensure Tasmanian children and young people living in poverty are not left behind.

“Extensive consultation with early education, schools, vocational education, training and tertiary education representatives and employers is also essential to the success of the review, as well consultation with the broader community including parents, children and young people.”

Ms Picone said in addition to a review of Tasmanian education system, all public schools needed to be resourced at a minimum of 100% for the Schooling Resource Standard by 2028.

“Targeted investment in our state schools is essential to ensuring our children have the best launch pad in life,” she said.

TasCOSS is calling for the Tasmanian education reviews Terms of Reference to include consideration of the following:

  • Funding for Tasmania’s schools, in the context of a forthcoming ten year federal-state funding agreement, with a particular focus on equitable funding for public schools.
  • Socio-economic barriers to educational engagement faced by Tasmanian families, including insecure housing, digital inequality, food insecurity and the cost of living crisis, as well as family violence.
  • How the high prevalence of mental health conditions amongst children and young people is affecting their engagement with education and learning.
  • The effectiveness of the Working Together for three year olds initiative in providing quality early learning available to all Tasmanian families.