English as a Additional Language


Did you know?

Every family makes their own decision about the type of education they want for their child.

Education in Tasmania is a three-way partnership between parents, the school and the child.

The age when children can start and finish school is set by law.

Children are required to attend school from the age of five years old to at least 17 years old. By 2020 children will be required to attend school until they are 18.

Parents are welcome in all schools.

Interpreters can be provided if parents and teachers wish to discuss a child’s progress.

Where to start?

  • If English is not your child’s first language, there is help available in Tasmanian Government schools.
  • The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Program, provides English language support for eligible Kindergarten to Year 12 students.
  • Support is provided on a needs basis with priority given to newly arrived students.

Education in Tasmania

There are three different levels of education in Tasmania:

  1. Primary Schools – Kindergarten to Year 6 (for students who are 4-12 years old).
  2. Secondary (High) School – Years 7-10 (for students who are 12-16 years old). Some of these schools offer Years 11 and 12.
  3. Senior Secondary Schools – Years 11 and 12 (for students aged from 16 years).
  4. Combined (district) schools may combine all three levels of education.

EAL Support

Students may be:

  • newly arrived in Australia with diverse educational backgrounds including refugee background/humanitarian entrant students, migrants, adopted children and students on Bridging Visa E (BVEs).
  • born in Australia but enter school with little or no English.
  • children whose home background includes at least one language other than English.
  • children, whose parents speak a restricted English at home, and who are experiencing literacy difficulties due to insufficiently developed first language skills

If English is not your first language and you need help understanding the Tasmanian education system, or how your child is progressing, an interpreter service is available at no cost to you.

Costs to parents

  • The cost of attending Tasmanian Government schools is kept at a minimum.  Concessions may be available if you hold a Health Concession Card.
  • Talk to your school about costs and how we can help you.


  • Wearing a school uniform is strongly encouraged in Tasmanian Government schools from Kindergarten to Year 10.
  • In Years 11 and 12 uniforms are not worn.

You are responsible for…

  • getting your child to school regularly in school hours and in school uniform
  • informing the school of any medical conditions
  • informing the school if your child will be away from school because of sickness or appointments
  • providing food and drink for your child every day
  • taking young children to school and picking them up from school every day
  • making sure your child does any homework if it is set.

Schools are responsible for…

  • keeping all children safe
  • providing education for your child that is age appropriate and accessible given their level of English
  • informing you of your child’s progress
  • welcoming you into the school community
  • providing English language support if this is needed.

Where can I get more information?

Further information is available at Supporting Student Need.

Ask your school principal or contact the English as an Additional Language team via email eal.program@education.tas.gov.au

Image of English as an Additional Language (EAL) Factsheet English as an Additional Language (EAL) in Tasmanian Government Schools – printable brochure

Download the Print version of brochure (PDF, 435KB)