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Education Act Changes Need Full Community Support

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Sunday, 18 September 2016

Tags: Education, School Starting Age, Schools

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Education spokesperson

The Greens look forward to seeing the government's final amendments to the Education Act when it's tabled in Parliament this week. We will be carefully considering the legislation once it's handed down.

There's been strong community concern about the proposed education changes. We hope the Hodgman Government has been listening while finalising the legislation.

While we welcome the voluntary lower school starting age, it doesn't remove the serious concerns about children of different ages and developmental levels being in the same classes.

Three and a half years old is vastly different to five years old. These are children who have very different needs, and we're yet to hear what Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, plans to do to tackle it in the classroom.

It's important older students are given educational options if the school leaving age is extended. It must be a system caters to individual needs, and helps open up post-school pathways.

The home education community have voiced their unease with the appointment of a Registrar under draft legislation, who would have multiple oversight responsibilities, one being truancy.

Home education in Tasmania has lead the way nationally, both in the numbers of students registered and reporting requirements. It's critical this community isn't undermined by an education system that doesn't fit or understand their needs. 

There have been very real issues raised about changes to the Education Act and it's crucial Minister Rockliff has listened.  These are once in a generation changes to our education system that will only be successful with community support.