KPMG to investigate earlier voluntary school starting age

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff

KPMG will investigate and report on the state government’s controversial earlier school starting age.

The tender was awarded to the research firm on Friday. It will investigate and produce a report about the social and economic impact of an earlier voluntary school starting age in Tasmania.

“The report will look at how existing early childhood education and care services could be supported to ensure a smooth transition, and further advice about KPMG’s consultation process will be notified to service providers in due course,” Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said.

Opposition education spokeswoman Michelle O’Byrne said the “unexplained delay” in awarding the tender meant KPMG would have little time to draft a report for the April deadline, in time for Parliament in September.

“Tasmanians can have little hope this work can now be carried out thoroughly even though it’s crucial to the unnecessary plan to lower our school staring age.

“This review is critical to ensure appropriate structures are put in place to support younger children in schools and to assess the impact to Tasmania’s early childhood education and care sector and the government needed to act sooner to ensure it was done comprehensively.”

Mr Rockliff said the earlier starting age was a significant opportunity for Tasmania to increase young children’s participation in quality play-based early learning.

“This can be best achieved in partnership with the education and care sector, which was represented on the tender panel.

“I’d like to thank the organisations that submitted a tender response for their interest in being involved in this important improvement for the future of Tasmania and our children."