Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Education spokesperson
We welcome the Education Minister's announcement that he will abandon plans to lower the compulsory school starting age.
We are pleased that the Minister Rockliff has heard the overwhelming community opposition to the lowering the school age.
It was clear from the start that this was a deeply unpopular plan. Many Tasmanians had legitimate concerns about 3 and a half year olds entering kindergarten classrooms.
The investment in early education is welcome. We hope that the government will increase funding to Child and Family Centres, as a proven way of engaging pre-school children.
It's understandable that there will be a level of confusion in the community about when children are expected to enter classrooms.
We may see ourselves faced with combined prep and kindergarten classes that have a range of children from 3 and a half to six years old. That's a vastly different developmental age for children.
This situation is not ideal and will be challenging for teachers, and concerning for parents.
We look forward to seeing the Education Act amendments in full when they are tabled in Parliament.