SCHOOLS have been warned not to distribute material of a political nature via students following an instance at Hagley Farm Primary School on Tuesday.
A group of parents has complained about the Australian Education Union's I Give A Gonski flyer that was sent home with pupils in the school newsletter or by itself, by the school's parents and friends group.
Department secretary Colin Pettit said the department became aware that the flyer had been distributed yesterday.
"The flyers contain information of a political nature and it is inappropriate that these flyers are given to students to take home to parents," Mr Pettit said.
"This is not accepted practice and is not condoned by the department.
"I have sent a memo to all principals asking them not to distribute the flyers."
Pro-forestry group Give It Back spokesman Michael Hirst, who spoke on behalf of a number of Hagley parents, said they were upset the flyer had been distributed through the school and to pupils as young as seven.
"The parents were really concerned that their children are being used as political couriers," Mr Hirst said.
However, the Australian Education Union state branch and Tasmanian State School Parents and Friends are angered that the department would curtail the actions of individual school parent and friend groups through their principals.
Neither groups were contacted before Mr Pettit put out the statement.
Union state president Terry Polglase said "the information does not signify which party to vote for, but presents information that they have the right to be made fully aware of".
Tasmanian State School Parents and Friends president Jenny Eddington said she saw no issue and it was normal practice for any school parents and friends group to distribute flyers through the newsletter.
She said it was not new information, but was freely available and the I Give a Gonski campaign had been running for about two years.
Opposition education spokesman Michael Ferguson said he would be very disappointed if public students were "being used as mules to ferry home political propaganda for Labor and the Greens".
Australian Electoral Commission Lyons returning officer Davin Foulkes said all political advertising had to include who authorised and printed the advertisement.
However, as this was not a political ad for a party, he said it was more an issue for the department, the school's parents and friends group and upset parents could also lodge a formal complaint with the commission.