“Concerning” educational outcomes spark independent review

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
Many experts says an independent review into Tasmania's education system is long overdue.

Almost half of Tasmania’s young people are not meeting the standard for a year 12 certificate or equivalent.

The Australian Government is now questioning that figure, prompting an independent review of the Tasmanian education system.

The state trails national averages on a host of metrics, with its 53 per cent year 12 attainment rate ranked as the second worst in the country, behind the Northern Territory, and well below the 76 per cent national average.

Education Services Australia chair Vicki Baylis will lead the review, which will consider demographics, socio-economic characteristics and the relationship of all levels of education.

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Tasmanian Education Minister Jo Palmer calls some areas of the education system a “real concern” but says the attainment figures, which are calculated by the Australian government Productivity Commission, don’t paint an accurate picture.

“Some of the data is not being read and interpreted properly, in particular with attainment,” Palmer says.

“In Tasmania if you want to look at children who are engaged in years 11-12 (plus) children who are also in TAFE (or doing) apprenticeships, we’re up around … 80 per cent. That is comparable with other states and territories.”

Tasmania is also towards the back of the pack for NAPLAN results, while the state’s attendance rates across years one – 10 are the second worst in the country.

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“We have recently introduced nation-leading structured literacy and phonics programs in our schools but are always open to further improving our education system,” Palmer says.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]brandx.live