Monday, 15 July 2024

Independent Review Launched to Address Tasmania’s Education System Failings

  • Tasmania’s government initiates an independent review to improve education outcomes.
  • Vicki Baylis, former NT Education chief, will lead the review.
  • Year 12 completion rates in Tasmania significantly lag behind national averages.

The Tasmanian government has announced an independent review of the state’s education system in response to persistently poor educational outcomes. Vicki Baylis, former chief executive of the Northern Territory Department of Education, will head the review.

The initiative aims to address critical issues such as low year 12 completion rates and the high number of young people seeking education opportunities outside the state.

Tasmania’s Education Overhaul: An Independent Review for Systemic Improvement

Tasmania’s education system has been under scrutiny for its low year 12 completion rates, which at 53% in 2023, are the lowest since 2015 and well below the national average of 76%. Vicki Baylis will lead an independent review, expected to deliver a final report by the end of 2024, with the goal of identifying and implementing necessary reforms to improve these outcomes.

Stakeholders, including independent economist Saul Eslake and demographer Lisa Denny, have called for a system-wide approach that encompasses early childhood, vocational, public, and university education. Despite the state’s high per-student investment, Tasmania’s educational results remain the poorest in Australia, underscoring the need for comprehensive and integrated reform efforts.

Education Minister Jo Palmer highlighted recent improvements, such as extending high schools to include years 11 and 12 and mandating education or training for young people. However, she acknowledged that significant issues persist, necessitating this independent review to create a robust educational framework for the future.

The Labor opposition and the Australian Education Union have expressed their support for the review but stressed the importance of adequate resourcing and swift action. The review’s success will depend on its ability to implement recommendations effectively and ensure sustainable improvements across Tasmania’s education system.

“The single most important reason why we are so far behind the rest of Australia on each of the ‘three Ps’ is our under-performing education system.”

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