Tasmanian Education Act changes to be tabled

Substantial changes to the state’s 20-year-old Education Act will be tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament this morning.

The changes, which have been floated for the past 18 months, include the controversial lowering of the school starting age to four years and six months for prep and three years and six months for kindergarten.

The government had originally wanted to make this measure compulsory but backed down amidst community backlash, namely from the childcare sector.

The voluntary earlier starting age would apply to children born in 2016 and the compulsory school leaving requirement would apply to students who started year 7 in 2016.

The changes will also lifting the minimum education and training leaving requirement to completion of year 12 or equivalent – a trade certificate III or apprenticeship.

The changes to the Education Act also include stiffer penalties for truancy.

Labor is steadfastly against the proposal to lower the school starting age and some of the bill’s more punitive actions and is expected to move significant amendments.

The party is also expected to continue their attack yesterday on Energy Minister Matthew Groom following a submission from Goanna Energy on the state’s energy crisis earlier this year.

The report predicted residents, small businesses and industrials will be lumped with higher power prices this financial year because of the extraordinary event.

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