United Voice releases Tasmanian school starting age poll results

A United Voice-commissioned poll has found three-quarters of Tasmanians oppose lowering the school starting age.

The union has been campaigning against the state government’s plan to lower the voluntary starting age to 3.5.

It commissioned independent EMRS polling, which found 76 per cent of Tasmanians were opposed to the change.

The results were released on Saturday.

“The fact that 76 per cent of Tasmanians are opposed to a lower school starting age just goes to show how out of touch this [government] is,” United Voice secretary Jannette Armstrong said.

“Lowering the school start age is contrary to best practice educational research and recommendations, it is not in the best interest of children, and it will have devastating impacts on our rural and regional communities in particular.”

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government was “listening closely” to stakeholders, “as well as considering independent research undertaken by KPMG”, in relation to the school starting age.

“The government's motivation is to improve education outcomes in Tasmania,” he said.

​”As foreshadowed, the secretary's report into the implementation of the earlier voluntary starting age will be tabled next week.”