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Education – Years 11 and 12

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Tags: Colleges, Education

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, in your opening statement you announced that New Town and Ogilvie high schools will become co-educational in 2022. Will both of those schools run through to year 12 and if so what will that mean for Elizabeth College?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Elizabeth College has been very heavily involved in the discussions with Ogilvie and New Town. I have a letter dated 3 November 2020 to me signed by the school association chairperson of New Town High School, the chairperson of Ogilvie High School and the school association of Elizabeth College that states that at a meeting of the Hobart City Partner Schools combined school association and reference group on 12 October 2020 there was an in-principle agreement to advise the minister for Education that Ogilvie High School, New Town High School and Elizabeth College are working together to design a co-educational delivery model for years 7 to 12 students in the Hobart local government area.

At the meeting the reference group supported exploring changes to the way education is delivered at the three partner schools. This includes possible changes to administration, resourcing, education programs and governance of the schools. The letter said -

The reference group looks forward to working with you, school leaders and community to develop a flexible and innovative model of co-educational delivery that meets the changing needs of our learners now and into the future, and the reference group is excited about investigating these new possibilities.

Co-education will commence in 2022. There is some work to do leading up to the commencement of term one 2022, but Elizabeth College is very much a part of that flexible mix.

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, Elizabeth College is renowned for some amazing, high quality programs, including and especially its music program which is really astounding and produces incredible stars. Can you assure college students, future students and teachers that there will not be any reduction in resourcing to the quality and the range of programs that Elizabeth College is able to provide?

Mr ROCKLIFF - My expectation is that resourcing will continue. We have growth funding within our education investment over the course of 10 years since we signed the bilateral agreement with the Australian and Tasmanian governments and that has secured growth funding for education. I have no reason to believe that any offering at Elizabeth College will be lessened as a result of the partnership between Ogilvie and New Town.

Dr WOODRUFF - What was the funding per enrolled student, including capital works and teacher allocations, for the year 11 and 12 rollout in city and main town schools in Tasmania? How much money has been allocated, including per student?

Mr ROCKLIFF - I will seek that information for you. You are saying around the state?

Dr WOODRUFF - In the city and the main town schools, for the rollout of years 11 and 12.

Mr ROCKLIFF - But pertaining to Hobart?

Dr WOODRUFF - No, around the state.

Ms O'BYRNE - You are asking about each school?

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, by school, depending if was different.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I can do my best. It is based on a lot of factors, including enrolment. There has been capital provision for schools that are extending.

Dr WOODRUFF - Including capital and teacher allocation.

Mr ROCKLIFF - There are a number of layers of funding. There is the school resource package provision, then overlaying that there would be 11 and 12 provision as well. If you are only asking for 11 and 12 - if you are looking at the 2020 base grade teacher and recurrent SRP funding, with regard to the year 11 and 12 extension program, I can go to, for example, New Town High School, one base grade FTE, $115 398, SRP added to that would be $10 000 and the total would be $125 398.

Dr WOODRUFF - That is not per enrolled student. That is what I am trying to get to, not the amount per school, but per enrolled student. Is this something that needs to be taken on notice?

Mr SALTER - With regard to the per enrolment funding that the school gets through the standard model, the combined teacher staffing and the SRP cash is in the order of $8000 per student. It will go up and down.

Dr WOODRUFF - Does that include capital works?

Mr SALTER - No. That is per enrolment.

Dr WOODRUFF - That is what I am seeking to understand, the investment that is going in per enrolled student for the year 11 and 12 rollout around the state. Not only the teachers, but the Education department investment.

Mr ROCKLIFF - The capital and the recurrent combined for the year 11 and 12 programs, for the rollout, for this Budget?

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes. Can I put that on notice?

Mr ROCKLIFF - For the last financial year?

Dr WOODRUFF - For the last financial year and this Budget.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I am sure we can provide that; you are after a first student figure, aren't you?

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, that is right.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Across the state.

Dr WOODRUFF - Including any additional incentives for transition, the whole rollout amount of money that has been spent per student.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I'm happy to do that. I take it you are supportive of the rollout and the opportunity for more than 900 students engaging in years 11 and 12 across the state. I am sure you are supportive of that?

Dr WOODRUFF - The Greens are on record for being supportive of all students reaching year 12. We are also on record about being very concerned at the impact on the high quality education of our college system in some areas where there are colleges very closely located. Elizabeth College would be one example; Hobart College is another example.

I have a question about the specific impact, which I asked you last year, what the specific impact on schools like Taroona and Riverside will be for the rolling out of years 11 and 12. There is a great deal of concern amongst parents who are very delighted with the high quality college education. We are seeking to make sure that you are not spoiling one thing to improve another.

Mr ROCKLIFF - No, I would say that the level of education delivery across our eight colleges and high schools has been enhanced. This is particularly so when you look at the collaboration and the collectives that have developed over the course of the last number of years. We have the Hellyer Regional Collective which was launched some 18 months ago. A great collaboration, great leadership shown by the Hellyer College principal, Judy Fahey, the principals around including Penguin, Smithton, Burnie, Parklands. The Rosny teggana collective. We have good partnerships, I understand, between Hobart College, which you mentioned, Huonville High School which is an example that I have mentioned before.

This is about supporting all our students in flexible settings. I know there was some concern initially about the impact of colleges when we started implementing the policy in 2014 but I would have to say that those fears have not been realised. There are still questions, of course, but I see great collaboration between our high schools and colleges and that is going to continue and be built upon. I am excited about the 900 or so kids engaged in years 11 and 12 outside the college setting or a combination of the high school setting and college setting as well, which is important Dr Woodruff.

Dr WOODRUFF - I have one final question on this in relation to Taroona. Taroona is the case in point where it makes no sense to spend money on facilities to expand their high school to year 11 and 12. It is bursting at the seams; it has no space on the footprint to put any more buildings that would not disadvantage student wellbeing. There is an excellent college and other multiple opportunities for students to go to, so will you commit that you will not be forcing a one size fits all on what would be manifestly detracting from educational resources that should be going elsewhere?

Mr ROCKLIFF - Dr Woodruff, just lead by example. We have not had a one size fits-all approach to this at all. There are different 11 and 12 provisions in settings and high schools across Tasmania. I stated it very clearly, six years ago, that this is not a one size fits all approach and that will continue.

Dr WOODRUFF - You have always said you are gong to transition all of them.

Mr ROCKLIFF - We want to make all our schools have access to years 11 and 12, absolutely, and transition -

Dr WOODRUFF - Well, that's an important distinction, thank you for clarifying that. That is very important.

Mr ROCKLIFF - My expectation is that all schools will transition to years 11 and 12 and provide that provision, but it's a flexible approach.