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Education Bill 2016 gains Royal Assent

​Today we set up a successful future for our children with the Education Bill 2016 gaining Royal Assent, the last step in making this Bill into an Act of Parliament, or law.

With the budget back on track the Hodgman Liberal Government is investing in education to break the cycle of disadvantage, replacing a 20-year-old Education Act to reflect contemporary practices and research.

With students receiving as much as two years less education than their interstate peers, we can no longer do the same thing and expect a better result.

By providing universal access to education earlier, and by recognising the rights of every child to receive an education until the completion of Year 12 or equivalent, we are providing a legislative framework to ensure our young people have a brighter future.

Play-based early learning is critical for the development and success of our younger children which is why – subject to an Implementation Report passing the parliament– the new legislation will enable earlier voluntary access to Prep and Kindergarten.

These reforms are already driving positive changes to our education system with early childhood education and care services taking up the opportunities lowering the school starting age provides. For example, Goodstart Early Learning in West Hobart has recently been approved by the Schools Registration Board as a non-government school to provide kindergarten in 2017.

It is exceedingly clear just how much education matters to the Tasmanian community, with unprecedented level of public debate and involvement throughout the extensive process to review the previous Education Act 1994 and prepare for the Education Bill 2016.

I extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved throughout the process of developing, consulting and passing this Bill, working together towards positive change for our children’s future.

Key elements of the Education Bill 2016 include provision of 13 years of compulsory education and training, an earlier Prep starting age allowing voluntary access to Prep from four and a half from 2021 (subject to an order and report to be approved by both Houses of Parliament later next year), raising the education and training requirements so that, from 2020, students must participate in education and training until they complete Year 12, attain a Certificate III, or they turn 18 years of age (whichever occurs first), and strengthening home education.

This Government listened carefully to the community and consulted widely, and we are confident that these changes will create a job ready generation and best equip Tasmania’s children for a brighter future.

Contact: Lara Kirkpatrick

Phone: 0436 010 174