$45m plan to extend schools to year 12

The Government has written to all rural and regional high schools in Tasmania asking for expressions of interest to extend classes to year 12.

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government's $45.5 million plan would see 21 high schools in rural and regional areas extended to year 12 by 2018, with all high schools extended by the end of 2024.

``We do not believe it is acceptable for Tasmania to have such low year 12 completion rates,'' Mr Rockliff said.

``We will provide a total of $45.5 million over four years towards extending these initial high schools, this will allow for the employment of up to 105 new teachers and $6 million for capital works.''

Northern Tasmanian schools asked to express interest in the first year include Exeter High School, Cressy District High School, Campbell Town District High School, Deloraine High School, Lilydale District School, Scottsdale High School, St Helens District High School and St Marys District High School

Mr Rockliff said the plan was aimed at improving year 12 completion rates by providing choice for grade 10 students at danger of dropping out post year 10.

``These are the students who for one reason or another are not making it to college.''

Greens education spokesman and former education minister Nick McKim accused Mr Rockliff of acting without evidence that the changes would increase retention.

``Evidence shows that the early years are where the biggest gains can be made, and the Liberals would be much better off extending our nation leading Launching into Learning program to grade 2 rather than experiment in the later years with no any evidence to back them up,'' Mr McKim said.

``Of course more needs to be done to offer year 11 and 12 in regional high schools, which was already occurring with many of the schools that the Liberals have invited to apply for funding already offering VET and/or pre-tertiary subjects to year 11 and 12 students.''

The following schools have been invited to express interest in the first year based on the ABS methodology defining schools in non-urban areas:

Exeter High School

Bothwell District High School

Campania District High School

Campbell Town District High School

Cressy District High School

King Island District High School

Oatlands District High School

Penguin District School

Triabunna District School

Woodbridge School

Yolla District High School

Cape Barren Island School

Deloraine High School

Dover District High School

Flinders Island District High School

Glenora District High School

Huonville High School

Lilydale District School

Mountain Heights School

Port Dalrymple School

Rosebery District High School

Scottsdale High School

Sheffield School

Smithton High School

St Helens District High School

St Marys District High School

Tasman District School

Winnaleah District High School

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