Tasmanian government flags changes to compulsory starting and leaving school ages

TASMANIAN students will be made to start school earlier and leave school later, under proposed legislation changes by the state government.

Premier Will Hodgman announced that the state government intends to legislate to change the compulsory school starting and leaving ages of Tasmanian students during his State of State address on Wednesday.

Under the government's proposed legislation changes, the minimum school starting age for pupils starting prep will be four years and six months.

The change will take effect for children born in 2016 and beyond, he said.

The current prep starting age is five years old.

The leaving requirement for students starting high school in 2016, will be raised to the completion of year 12,  a certificate three, or when a student turns 18 years old.

Mr Hodgman said the changes were in response to the review of the ''outdated'' education act.

``In practical terms both changes will take effect in 2020,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``This is an important lead in time that will give parents fair warning and time to prepare.

Mr Hodman said as it stands Tasmania has the oldest minimum starting age.

``The result of this is that students can legally leave school earlier than others around the country,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``Tasmanian can walk out of school with as much as two years less education than their interstate counterparts.

``We can't expect to be doing better by doing less, this has to change.''

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