Education

At the last election, the Liberals promised Tasmanians that student results would be at the national average by 2020. Instead, Tasmanian student results are the worst of all States.

The Liberals also promised 75 per cent of students would obtain a TCE by 2022, but instead attainment has declined for three consecutive years and remains where it was in 2008.

And they promised money for brand new schools in Legana, Brighton and Sorell. Not a single one of these projects has been delivered, while urgent upgrades and repairs at existing schools are ignored.

Labor is the only party that can be trusted with education.

We have a plan to get the basics right and make our education system the equal of the nation.

Our policy is realistic, achievable, and will make a difference.

Download Labor’s Plan for Record Investment in Learning.

Ensure Students Have the Support They need to Learn

We understand that teachers need support to develop and share the knowledge and skills they have in order to improve student’s learning experiences.

School lunches

It is estimated thousands of Tasmanian students turn up to school each week without food for lunch.

Kids who go hungry find it harder to concentrate and learn.

Labor will ensure all Tasmanian primary school children are eating a healthy lunch every day by providing food in schools. 

This will take pressure off parents in the mornings, improve health outcomes, reduce child poverty, and improve student learning.

Mental health workers in schools

Mental health is one of the biggest issues in Tasmanian schools.

Nearly 40 per cent of Year 9 and 10 girls report feeling unhappy, upset and as though they’re doing things wrong a lot of the time, and over 5, 000 students between Year 4 and 12 feel the same way. 

Thirty five per cent of senior students say they don’t feel resilient in times of stress and around 900 year six students reported a low-level satisfaction with life. 

This is tragic on a personal level, but it is also preventing some of our students from engaging in education successfully.

Labor will invest $10 million per year to ensure every school has access to a mental health worker.

Appropriate support for students with disability 

Labor strongly supports the Educational Adjustments model and wants to better understand the needs of students who are living with a disability but are not currently receiving the support they need to participate in school.

All Tasmanian students with a disability, and the dedicated people who educate them, should have the adjustments, resources and professional learning they need.

That is why Labor will commission a review into the implementation of the Educational Adjustments model, which will be delivered to Parliament within our first year in government. 

Labor will also establish an independent Community Services Commissioner with the powers to investigate matters which relate to disability service provision, including education.

Back to Basics in the Classrooms

Reading and writing

In reading, writing and maths, Tasmanian students underperform students in every other State. We’re simply not getting the basics right.

Every year 1,500 Tasmanian students start Year 7 with a very low reading ability. 1,500 students and their parents are being let down by a system that isn’t working for them.

To address this, Labor will launch the most ambitious literacy program Tasmanian schools have ever seen.

Over the next 6 years, we will employ more than 350 additional teachers to provide small group and one-on-one teaching to students who need extra help.

We’ll also hire 20 speech pathologists, and invest $1 million per year in professional development for teachers. 

And we’ll introduce a systematic screening and teaching program for all primary students in all schools.

This will improve outcomes for all students, while helping those who need the most support.

Under Labor, Tasmanian students will leave school ready to achieve their full potential.

Mathematics

The final years of primary school are where Tasmanian students’ maths results really start to decline compared to other States.

Labor acknowledges this is unacceptable and will allocate $500,000 to a Mathematics Education Taskforce to drive further improvement. While the taskforce undertakes its work, we will increase the training and development budget by $1,000,000 with a particular focus on upper primary and lower secondary Mathematics education. 

Ensuring school leavers have good career opportunities

More than half of Tasmania’s school leavers are not at work, in training or at university. Too many young Tasmanians don’t know what opportunities are available to them beyond school, or how to access them. 

Labor will fundamentally reform in-school career education to connect today’s learners with tomorrow’s jobs. 

We will do this by ensuring that career awareness programs are embedded in our school system and that it is fundamental in the day-to-day work of schools. We will create new jobs for career educators in schools and colleges, working with local industry to ensure career programs are regionally relevant, and supporting non-government programs to provide intensive support.

Getting the Basics Right with School Upgrades

Neglected Schools Fund 

At the last election, the Liberals made announcements worth tens of millions of dollars for brand new schools such as Brighton, Sorell and Legana.

They haven’t delivered a single one of them.

Even worse, they’ve neglected the schools that are running right now, with actual students, that have leaky roofs, inadequate heating and cramped and dated facilities.

Some schools have been on the high priority list for seven years, but have missed out because the Liberals have made schools a political football. 

A Labor Government will immediately establish a $50 million Neglected Schools Fund to urgently repair and upgrade the schools that have been ignored for too long and we’ll properly fund the Sorell School redevelopment, injecting a further $15 million, so the Sorell community gets the school they deserve.

Solar Schools Fund 

A Labor Government will also create a $5 million Solar Schools Fund to encourage state schools to install solar panels and reduce their power costs. Schools will be able to retain their savings instead of having to return this money to the Department, which is the current Liberal policy. We estimate that by installing solar panels, each school could save around $22,000 per year, which they can reinvest into student programs and equipment.

Working for Tasmanians to Save TAFE and Create More Apprenticeships

No privatisation

Labor will stop Peter Gutwein’s radical plan to privatise TAFE. Education is our future, and under Labor it will never be for sale.

Labor will make TAFE free

Labor will invest $40 million to provide free TAFE courses in areas of known skill shortages.

This includes construction trades, tourism and hospitality, nursing, and aged and disability care.

This means more jobs for Tasmanians, and more skilled staff for key Tasmanian industries.

Peter Gutwein’s radical privatisation agenda will see student fees increase by 600%.

Labor will rebuild TAFE from the ground up

Labor will invest $17.9 million to rebuild TAFE after 7 years of Liberal cuts.

We will:

  1. Employ 80 new TAFE teachers
  2. Provide 80 paid scholarships to attract teachers from industry
  3. Provide incentives for current teachers to spend time updating their skills
  4. Promote the value of trades and TAFE to students, parents and the public
  5. Establish a TAFE Rescue Taskforce to urgently fix the Liberal damage

Instead of selling TAFE, Labor will rebuild it.

Labor will deliver more training in regional Tasmania

People in regional areas pay the same rates and taxes as people in the cities, and they have every right to expect the same services will be available to them.

Labor will invest $4.6 million in a Regional Delivery Fund, to ensure no student misses out just because of where they live.

Under the Liberals’ radical privatisation agenda, regional campuses will be closed and courses will be cut.

Labor will rebuild TAFE infrastructure

Labor will invest $29 million across the Alanvale, Burnie, Devonport and Clarence campuses to ensure all students have access to high-quality training facilities.

Labor will create 500 apprenticeships for older workers

Apprenticeships give people a chance to build a new career, and give them an income while they learn new skills in a workplace.

But employers can be reluctant to take on adult apprentices because it’s more expensive than taking on a junior.

Labor will provide a $30,000 apprenticeship guarantee for older workers seeking a fresh career start as an apprentice, removing the financial disincentive for employers to take on a mature aged apprentice.

The $15 million program will provide 500 apprenticeship guarantees for workers over 35.

Labor will create Apprenticeships Tasmania

A Labor Government will establish Apprenticeships Tasmania.

Apprenticeships Tasmania will:

  • Support Government contractors to ensure 20% of their workers are apprentices
  • Empower Industry Training Boards to monitor, support and enforce mandated quotas
  • Promote apprenticeships as a career path, link employers and people seeking an apprenticeship, and help to coordinate the delivery of timely regional training

A key first project of Apprenticeships Tasmania will be to establish a centralised online portal where people wanting an apprenticeship can register for a job.

The Liberals have had seven years to address skill shortages and youth unemployment, and they’ve failed.

Rebuilding TAFE from the Ground Up

Tasmania needs a TAFE system that gives people lifelong skills to get a job and aligns with the needs of industry.

Tasmania’s TAFE system has been undermined and neglected by the Liberal Government. Labor will rebuild it.

Under Labor, TAFE will be better staffed, more relevant to industry, and training will be delivered where and how people need it. 

Labor will turn Tasmania’s TAFE system into the engine room of our economy, driving qualifications and employment.

More Teachers, More Relevance

Labor will increase the TAFE teaching workforce by nearly 20 per cent, drawing new teachers and trainers from private and public industry sectors. Labor will fund 80 new, full-time TAFE teaching jobs created over four years. 

Labor will offer six-month scholarships to people from trade or professional backgrounds, so they can become qualified to teach in their area of skill. As well as growing the teaching workforce, this will strengthen industry connections and relevance and ensure graduates are job-ready. 

Labor will also support current TAFE teachers to spend time in the trades they teach, to stay on top of the latest developments in that industry and the needs of employers.

Enhancing Regional Delivery

Many regional centres miss out on TAFE training and that means job seekers miss out on getting qualifications. Labor will connect students with training where they need it by creating a TAFE Regional Delivery Fund to deliver training in partnership with relevant local organisations. 

A More Efficient Training System

Labor will create a Taskforce to review the wider Tasmanian vocational education and training (VET) system. The Taskforce will make recommendations on improving coordination, eliminating duplication and encouraging greater credit transfer within and between private providers, TasTAFE and the University of Tasmania. Planning, governance and delivery processes will also be reviewed. The result will be a more efficient and effective VET system.

Promoting the Value of Vocational Training

Labor will better promote the value of gaining a qualification through Tasmania’s rebuilt and reinvigorated TAFE training system. Enrolling in TAFE and pursuing one of the many respected career paths that follow a TAFE qualification should be highly valued by parents and
students alike.

Total cost of Rebuilding TAFE from the Ground Up over four years: $22.5 million

Rebuilding TAFE from the Ground Up is part of Labor’s Plan for Jobs our fully costed plan that will deliver jobs for 35,000 Tasmanians.

Labor will make TAFE Free

Labor will make TAFE free in areas where there are known skill shortages, including building and construction, tourism, hospitality, agriculture, aged care and disability services.

Over the next four years, Labor’s Free TAFE policy will support 20,000 Tasmanians to get a foot in the door to a good job. Free TAFE will also reduce costs for businesses looking to upskill existing staff or take on an apprentice.

Total cost over four years: $40 million

Creating Pathways to Jobs

More than half of Tasmania’s school leavers are not at work, in training or at university. Too many young Tasmanians don’t know what opportunities are available to them beyond school, or how to access them.

Labor will fundamentally reform in-school career education to connect today’s learners with tomorrow’s jobs. We will do this by ensuring that career awareness programs are embedded in our school system and that it is fundamental in the day-to-day work of schools. We will create new jobs for career educators in schools and colleges, working with local industry to ensure career programs are regionally relevant, and supporting non-government programs to provide intensive support.

Total cost over four years: $18.8 million

Creating Pathways to Jobs is part of Labor’s Plan for Jobs our fully costed plan that will deliver jobs for 35,000 Tasmanians.

Connecting Job Seekers with Work

Tasmanian businesses want to employ locals where they can, but too often have difficulty finding local workers. And people looking for work sometimes don’t know where to start. 

The South East Employment Hub works intensively with local government, business and job seekers to remove barriers to getting a job, and train people so they’re prepared for the jobs business needs.

Labor will fund ten local Jobs Hubs in regional communities across Tasmania, based on the South East Employment Hub model but adapted for local needs. It’s expected the program will help 1000 Tasmanians get into work each year.

Total cost over four years: $17.5 million

Connecting Job Seekers with Work is part of Labor’s Plan for Jobs our fully costed plan that will deliver jobs for 35,000 Tasmanians.

Extension of Outside School Hours Care

To help parents and families to return to the workforce, increase their hours and/or enrol in training, Labor will increase the availability of before and after school care in government schools in Tasmania.

Labor will extend Outside Schools Hours Care to ten additional schools in partnership with the local community to make sure services are designed to support children and meet the needs of families.

Funding of $75,000 will be made available to support administration, facility upgrades and equipment at each of the ten locations.

The Extension of Outside School Hours Care is part of Labor’s Plan for Jobs our fully costed plan that will deliver jobs for 35,000 Tasmanians.

Find out how Rebecca White & the Labor Team are Working for Tasmanians.