News, media releases

Attainment rates now in decline under the Liberals

  • Labor welcomes school extensions to Years 11 and 12
  • Only part of the solution
  • Liberal Government misrepresents figures while attainment and retention rates dip

Tasmanian Labor supports the extension of all schools to include Years 11 and 12.

A Labor Government will support the schools extension program but importantly, Labor recognises that this is only part of the equation.

Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said extended school years cannot be the only approach to addressing poor education outcomes in Tasmania.

“Unfortunately Tasmania has the lowest Year 12 retention rates of any Australian state, dipping to 73.9 per cent in 2020 compared with the national rate of 82.1 per cent,” Mr Willie said.

“An absolute priority for Labor is finding effective ways to encourage students to continue their education through years 11 and 12 and to improve their chances at attaining better education, training and career outcomes.    

“Retention is just one piece of the puzzle and what the Liberal Government fails to admit is that while our state spends the most in the country per student, Tasmania continues to have the worst outcomes.

“Attainment rates for Year 12 students in Tasmania have declined for the third year in a row and are just 58 per cent – significantly lower than the national average of 72 per cent – and that figure remains the same as 2008.

“In addition, NAPLAN figures show over the past decade Tasmania has gone backwards in half of the indicators assessed across grades 3, 5, 7 and 9. 

“We all want to see our kids stay at school and get the best education, so they can have full and rewarding jobs, careers and lives.

“Sadly this cannot be achieved under this Liberal Government, with only 54.5 per cent of school leavers fully engaged in work, further education or training.

“Labor’s plan for education contains initiatives that will put mental health workers in all schools and provide career education to help students reach their full potential.”

Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Minister for Education