VIDEO | Parents 'key' to education overhaul

Jeremy Rocklff
Jeremy Rocklff

PARENTS have a key role to play in the education reforms that Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff hopes to roll out in the Liberals' first term of government.

In the seven months since the Liberals won government, the major educational changes - as promised in the election - have been implemented.

Specialist numeracy and literacy teachers are working in selected state schools, six high schools are extending to years 12, and pathway planners have been axed to make way for a career-based program that will encourage future planning throughout a child's schooling life.

Despite concerns within the community about the changes, Mr Rockliff remained convinced it was the right way forward.

"There is nothing to be feared from change if it is for the right reasons and the change is implemented properly," Mr Rockliff said.

A review of the 20-year-old Education Act that is under way will be a significant milestone for Mr Rockliff who stepped into the education portfolio seven months ago.

This was about building modern legislation that "encourages our students to stay in school longer".

He said he had a goal to introduce the new legislation near the end of 2016.

"I want to make sure, in my time in education, that students are best prepared for their professional life after school," he said.

"I want to see that we are at least matching the national average across our NAPLAN results.

"I also want to see a very clear collaboration between all our schools, our university, and our TAFE colleges."

Mr Rockliff held strongly to his position on changing educational culture.

"Parents have a major responsibility. Education is not just about kids in the classroom and parents leaving the kids at the school gate ... they have to be involved."

He said he would not starve schools of funding to force them to close. He said the years 11 and 12 extension policy would not harm colleges.

"We need the colleges to make this reform work. We need colleges to engage with our regional high schools.

"There are increased opportunities with information technology, the flexibility options; some students might do year 11 and 12 subjects in Scottsdale and then come into Launceston College for a day.

"It is not about that rigid, physical, classroom, environment. There are so many ways we can make this work."

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