Three high schools were added to the Beacon Foundation’s Collective ed. initiative on Thursday.
Port Darymple School at George Town, Sorell School and Deloraine High School were added to the program, joining Ulverstone High, Jorden River Learning Federation and Bayview Secondary College.
Collective ed. was launched this year, and aims at increasing grade 12 attainment and improving future job prospects for students.
The three new participants were chosen due to the “willingness” of the schools, and their respective communities, to join the program.
“[The Beacon Foundation] is really focussed on lifting year 12 attainment in Tasmania – we’re targeting 90 per cent,” Beacon Foundation chief executive Scott Harris said.
“The project’s focussing on year 12 because there’s an evidence-base that young people without a year 12 qualification will be increasingly disadvantaged in the labour markets.”
Each of the participating schools are assigned three members of staff to consult teachers on community engagement, business engagement and teaching respectively.
The five-year, $15 million program is funded through the Paul Ramsay Foundation and the state Liberal government.
Mr Harris said the program revolves around increased community and private sector involvement with participating schools.
“Each program will be different [for each school], but it’s about how industry influences curriculum and about how young people get involved in the world of work.”
Minister of Education, Jeremy Rockliff, attended the announcement of Colletive ed.’s extension at Port Darymple School on Thursday.
While Tasmania currently has the lowest rate of grade 12 attainment of any state in Australia, Mr Rockliff said the state is improving.
He said the increase in high schools offering grade 11 and 12 – an extra 38 since 2014 – is a catalyst for the improvement.
“We’ve seen the biggest jump in completion of year 12 in the last year,” he said.
“The more opportunities we can provide our kids in their local area, and break down barriers to further education, by having year 11 and 12 in the high schools, the better off our students will be.”