Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

16 June 2014

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Time for Labor to rethink opposition to Year 11-12 reforms

Now that Labor has finally woken up to the fact that some regional and remote high schools are already offering Year 11-12 subjects, it should rethink its entirely political opposition to the Liberal Government's reforms.

It was never a secret to us that a number of high schools already offer a few Year 11-12 subjects; rather it helped inform our policy of progressively extending all high schools through to Year 12.

What it also demonstrates is that those school communities want to give their students the opportunity to complete their secondary education in their local school, and that is why they have responded so positively to our policy.

Clearly, there is a difference between offering a limited selection of subjects and offering a broad Year 11-12 curriculum, but we are backing up our reforms with a $45 million investment over four years to employ up to 105 additional teachers and undertake some capital works so that high schools can make that transition.  

The fact is that this Government has been consulting with school communities about the first stage of implementing this policy. In our first 100 days, we have a created an implementation taskforce, called for expressions of interest for the first four schools to implement these reforms, and visited all 10 of the schools that applied. We will have more to say in the coming weeks.  

The real question for Michelle O'Byrne is why Labor continues to oppose the reforms that are so necessary if we are to address Tasmania's low Year 12 completion rate, the worst in the country, and create a job-ready generation.

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