Ex­cit­ing time for ed­u­ca­tion

Mercury (Hobart) - - BACK TO SCHOOL -

TAS­MA­NIAN pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion has just cel­e­brated 150 years, and the mo­men­tum for im­prove­ment has prob­a­bly never been greater.

The State Gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing record amounts into ed­u­ca­tion, and re­sults have im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly in the past four years, with more to come.

We have been in­vest­ing heav­ily in teach­ers, schools and re­sources to lift ed­u­ca­tion out­comes in Tas­ma­nia.

The re­sults are pos­i­tive, show­ing our plan, to­gether with our prin­ci­pals, teach­ers and sup­port staff’s com­mit­ment, is work­ing.

The at­tain­ment rate for TCE stu­dents has im­proved by 10 per cent since we came to gov­ern­ment, and we have 142 more teach­ers and nearly 200 ex­tra teacher as­sis­tants in our schools.

In 2020, un­der the new Ed­u­ca­tion Act, stu­dents will be re­quired to stay at school un­til they are 18 (un­less they have a job or trainee­ship), and up to 2500 more three-year-olds will have ac­cess to free preschool op­por­tu­ni­ties.

This year, the pi­lot pro­gram Work­ing To­gether for Three-Year-Olds will be held in five cen­tres, be­fore be­ing rolled out in full in 2020.

Im­prov­ing lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy is also vi­tal, which is why we will em­ploy a lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy coach in ev­ery gov­ern­ment school, and im­ple­ment a new lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy strat­egy.

The Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment’s strong fi­nan­cial man­age­ment will en­able us to in­vest a record $324 mil­lion into ed­u­ca­tion, in­clud­ing 358 more staff and $192 mil­lion in ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing in­fra­struc­ture over the next six years.

In ad­di­tion to this in­vest­ment, the re­cently signed bi­lat­eral Na­tional School Re­form Agree­ment be­tween the Tas­ma­nian and Aus­tralian gov­ern­ments will pro­vide $490 mil­lion to Tas­ma­nian gov­ern­ment schools over the next 10 years.

This un­prece­dented longterm fund­ing en­sures cer­tainty for Tas­ma­nian schools and will pro­vide re­sources for stu­dents with the great­est need.

Com­mu­ni­ties around the state have also em­braced our pro­gram to ex­tend high schools to Years 11 and 12, with 38 schools mak­ing the move so far, an­other five next year and the rest by 2022.

The in­vest­ments we have made are a clear sign of how much the Hodg­man Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment val­ues ed­u­ca­tion, and how in­vest­ing in teach­ers, schools and in­fra­struc­ture will help lift ed­u­ca­tion at­tain­ment and help trans­form the lives of Tasmanians.

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