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Taking education to the next level

Will Hodgman, Premier
Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Our young people are our future, and lifting educational results is critical to them being their best and our State reaching its full potential.

A re-elected majority Hodgman Liberal Government will employ 250 additional teachers and 80 Teacher Assistants as part of a total investment in 358 more staff in our public school system over the six years of the Gonski 2.0 Agreement.

This is on top of the significant investments this Government has already made in education including consecutive record investments every year, 107 more teachers in our school, and more than 70 professional support staff.

Over six years, our additional total investment represents a record-breaking additional $324 million into education, to take our education system to the next level from the early years through to Year 12.

Over the first term of the next Government, our investment means 277 more teachers and staff into schools to improve key education outcomes, with an investment of $69 million over four years into staffing alone.

By comparison, Labor will only be employing 129 new teachers, with a plan to strip 50 teachers from key support areas such as literacy and numeracy support.

At least 76 teachers will be employed as part of our Plan to extend all Government high schools to Year 12 by 2022. We are committed to this because a good education is the best chance to get ahead in life, and we want to ensure every Tasmanian student, no matter where they live, has the best possible opportunities.

We will invest in more early learning staff, because the early years are critical for the development and success of our children. To enable children in Prep to receive the individual attention they need to play, explore and learn, we are adding an additional teacher assistance resource to the Prep year, equivalent to 80 FTE teacher assistants. Schools know where best to use this support so will have some flexibility in how they apply this resource.

In partnership with the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector, a re-elected majority Hodgman Liberal Government will provide a one-stop shop of community support services for families and carers in the early years of a child’s life - we will build new Early Learning Hubs in the East Tamar, West Ulverstone, Waratah-Wynyard, Sorell, Kingborough, and Glenorchy communities. Research has shown these areas are where parents and carers need greater access to health, support and outreach services.

A key focus for our education policy is to ensure all children have access to quality play based early learning because they are the foundation of learning. It’s simply not good enough that some Tasmanian children have up to two years less education than other states, and no doubt part of the reason why our education results are not as good as they could be.

Our Working Together for 3 Year Olds pre-school initiative will provide the opportunity of an additional year of pre-school to Tasmanian children who are in need or disadvantaged by providing free access to quality pre-school programs for eligible three year old children, in partnership with the ECEC, from 2020.

Our Ministerial Taskforce for education with children with disability set out the recommendations to make our education system more inclusive, and we have come a long way in four years implementing their recommendations, but we know there is still more to do.

We will provide an additional $6 million to support implementation for a further two years, to 2023, ensuring we have the resources to implement all of the recommendations. We have listened to the voices of parents, educators, specialists and disability advocates who have asked for a change in the disability-funding model to ensure the best opportunity for students with a disability to thrive in our schooling system.

As we have said, we will implement a needs based funding model to better provide for the individual needs of students, investing $250,000 to design and test the model in 2018/19.

A great education system needs the right infrastructure which is why, building on our current $110 million school capital works program, we will invest an additional $179 million to continue bringing education infrastructure into the 21st century, to help us reach our targets and improve retention to Year 12, and attainment of the TCE.

This commitment provides the biggest ever state government commitment to education infrastructure in Tasmania, allowing us to invest in new school builds and re-builds such as the Sorell School K-12, and Cosgrove High School to Year 12.  Our investment will also support thousands of direct and indirect jobs around the state as we literally build Tasmania’s future.

It is vital to remember that the only reason we can make this massive additional investment into education is because we have brought the Budget back into balance.

The majority Hodgman Liberal Government has a goal to lead the nation in education and create a job ready generation of young Tasmanians, because there is no better foundation to build Tasmania’s future on than education. We are part way through what are the most significant improvements to our education system in decades, and with the Budget back in balance, we can fund the changes our students and teachers need to succeed.

For more information on our education policy, click here.