Schmerl backs school plan

BREAK O' Day mayor Sarah Schmerl has backed the state government's decision to allow years 11 and 12 to be taught at selected Tasmanian high schools in 2015.

On Friday it was announced nine schools are vying for an opportunity to extend their curriculum into years 11 and 12.

Mrs Schmerl revealed to The Examiner yesterday that a number of St Marys students drop out of college each year, after being forced to move away from home to further their education.

While the decision is yet to be finalised, Mrs Schmerl called the concept a "positive move" for regional communities.

"A lot of parents are concerned about kids moving away to Launceston to board, because quite often they are only 16 and 17 and they don't have a lot of life experience," she said.

"A lot end up dropping out and moving back home."

Shadow Education Minister Michelle O'Bryne said the state government needed to ensure Tasmanian students would benefit from the move, however.

"The Liberals must make sure an adequate amount of subjects are offered at any school extending to year 12," she said.

"When the Liberals start looking to extend urban high schools to year 11 and 12, pressure will be ultimately placed on the college system."

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government's response from schools had been "extremely encouraging".

"We have had over double the number of schools apply, compared to actual places," he said.

"This response demonstrates that there is no shortage of schools eager to adopt our plan to improve year 12 completion rates by providing another option for students at danger of dropping out post year 10.The Tasmanian Government will now visit these schools to discuss their plans for delivering years 11 and 12.

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