The safety and wellbeing of children and young people in our care underpins all aspects of our work. We commit to the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. We will continue to refer to these as we develop and refine our policies and practices. We will make our systems, policies, processes and procedures stronger, and build a culture where child safety is everybody’s responsibility.
To lead this work, the Department has established the Office of Safeguarding Children and Young people. The establishment of this Office recognises the importance of the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people in our care. It builds on the holistic approach we already take to protect the wellbeing of our children and students.
Working Together (Formerly Working Together for 3 Year Olds)
Our shared purpose is to develop confident and creative children, who thrive in strong, connected communities. All children should have equal opportunity for a great start in life.
Working Together (WT) is a Tasmanian Government initiative which is opening up opportunities for eligible children to participate in free, quality early learning in the year before they start kindergarten.
The Department of Education and the Education and Care community are committed to working in strong partnerships to ensure the best outcomes for Tasmania’s children and families.
The Strong Partnerships Framework shows how the Department of Education and the Education and Care community work collaboratively for the children and families at the centre of our work. The Framework provides a range of tools and resources, across seven domains, to support all Department of Education and Education and Care services, whether co-located or not, to work in stronger partnerships.
Through our partnerships we are contributing to the vision of Tasmania’s Strategy for Children – Pregnancy to Eight Years 2018-2021: Children Thriving in Strong, Connected Communities.
In the interests of continuing to build and maintain Strong Partnerships between Department of Education schools and services, and Education and Care services, this website will be a dynamic resource, undergoing ongoing review and development.
The Years 9 to 12 Project was established as a result of the 2016 Review of Years 9 to 12 Tasmania by the Australian Council for Educational Research which outlined a range of opportunities and recommendations to improve attendance, retention and attainment outcomes for students in Tasmania.
The purpose of the Years 9 to 12 Project is to enable all students to achieve their potential through Years 9 to 12 and beyond in further study, training and employment, and is a joint initiative of Catholic Education Tasmania, Independent Schools Tasmania, the Department of Education, TasTAFE, the University of Tasmania, Skills Tasmania and the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification.
The Minister’s Education Workforce Roundtable is a group of education leaders committed to taking action to deliver a quality education workforce for Tasmania. The Roundtable’s endeavours are a bold, new, and innovative approach in collaboration across the education sector, demonstrating passion for improving education quality and learning outcomes for all Tasmanians.
Children and young people who feel safe, connected and secure are more likely to engage in their learning. A strong sense of wellbeing enables learners to explore, experiment and engage actively in their learning environment with the confidence to take advantage of new opportunities. In 2018 the Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy was launched. The Strategy supports our wellbeing goal under the Department’s Strategic Plan.
The Tasmanian Agricultural Education Framework – Grow, Make, Protect (PDF, 935KB) has been developed to provide an overview of agricultural education in Tasmanian schools from Kindergarten to Year 12. This work has been a collaboration between DPIPWE, DoE and the Hagley Farm School: Centre for Agricultural Education.
This initiative is providing more choice to students undertaking Years 11 and 12 at their local high school. The State Government is also breaking down the perception that education finishes in Year 10 and building the ambition for even more Tasmanian students to want to complete Year 12.
The program is supporting schools, families and communities to help foster healthy choices, (physical, social and emotional), to create positive outcomes and a culture of lifelong learning.
Primary School Nurses focus on Kindergarten assessments, hearing and vision screening, developmental checks, local/state/national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Secondary School Nurses focus on health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including healthy relationships, mental health and wellbeing, body image, nutrition, local/state and national health promotion initiatives, targeted screening and positive parenting programs.
The review of the Education Act has been undertaken in the context of Tasmania’s social and economic challenges and the role improving educational outcomes can have in addressing those challenges.
Key changes in our education reforms include:
- extending the compulsory years of education and training including allowing early access to Prep
- more teachers and support staff in our schools
- upgrades to school infrastructure.
These important reforms will improve education results in Tasmania and help close the gap, where currently Tasmanian students can receive up to two years less education than their interstate counterparts.
Respectful Relationships Education
The Tasmanian Department of Education maintains a whole-of-system, research based approach to developing and maintaining respectful relationships education. An essential element of the Tasmanian Government’s Safe Homes, Safe Families Action Plan has been the development of an extensive range of resources targeted at supporting schools, communities and individuals to understand why family violence occurs and how to reduce the occurrence of it.
At the centre of this initiative will be an online and publicly available resource identifying strategies, processes and skills to guide schools and communities in the explicit teaching of respectful relationships. The resources are designed to support school communities model positive environments and appropriate behaviours in which individuals know, understand and engage in equitable and respectful relationships.
Respectful Relationships Education ensures that all Tasmanian communities value a culture of respect.
Great Start is an Early Years web portal that provides easy to access information about the early years programs offered through the Department of Education. It includes links to a range of video support resources to assist parents in supporting their child.
Supporting children and their families in the early years can set them on a path of wellbeing and success throughout their lives.
As part of the Tasmanian Government’s Resetting the Relationship with the Aboriginal community in Tasmania agenda, the Department of Education has taken the lead on Priority Two: Introduce a focus on Tasmanian Aboriginal History and Culture into the delivery of the Australian Curriculum.
A number of professional learning videos with accompanying learning tasks are now available to schools from the Aboriginal Education Services page.
The purpose of this priority is to raise awareness and improve understanding of Tasmanian Aboriginal histories and cultures in schools and to raise aspirations for levels of attainment and further education for Aboriginal students.
On 18 December 2018, a correction and re-issuing of the Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking (ATAR) was required for all ATAR eligible Tasmanian students.
This was as a result of a procedural error which had occurred in the derivation of tertiary entrance scores for some students who had undertaken the University of Tasmania High Achiever Program (HAP) and University Connections Program (UCP) units in 2018.
The Department of Education contracted KPMG to undertake an internal audit of processes used to handle and release the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) and ATAR scores for students with a particular focus on those studying HAP and UCP units in 2018.
Seven recommendations were made in the report. The Department and TASC have accepted all the recommendation and are working to implement them.
The Minister for Education has announced that Ogilvie High School and New Town High School will become co-educational in 2022 as part of the next phase of the Hobart City Partner Schools collaboration with Elizabeth College.
Student Voice Project
Evidence shows that capturing student voice* in schools has many benefits:
- leads to improved student wellbeing
- drives student engagement
- can create positive change in classrooms and schools
- encourages students to have a say about local, national and world issues that affect them.
When we take time to listen, students’ aspirations can drive exciting new goals for our schools and our system.
When students know we are listening to them:
- improve their self-worth
- they engage meaningfully in their own academic success
- they take more interest in their learning.
The Department of Education is developing a guide the will help teachers capture student voice. The guide will include examples of when students have shared their ideas about their learning.
The online guide will be a helpful resource of best practice for staff to use, to encourage and capture student voice. The guide will be available in 2021.
* The word ‘voice’ refers to all forms of communication and communication supports.