New education policy? – actually just consultation on school leaving ages

johnboy 18 August 2008 24

[First filed: August 18, 2008 @ 09:59]

Apparently we’re getting a new education system today when the relevant powers bestir themselves to release it.

Early TV reports suggest the school leaving age will be raised to 17, but more vocational/trades education will be made available.

That will mean a lot more kids in school who really don’t want to be there. We’ll have to see if adequate funding to cope will also arrive.

UPDATED: Minister for Education and Training Andrew Barr has announced a new consultation paper:

    Pathways to the future – a consultation paper on increasing young people’s engagement in education, training and work asks young people, their parents, carers, teachers and the wider ACT community about raising the school leaving age above 15 years and how this may be best done.
    “The school leaving age was last raised in 1943 when ACT schools were part of the NSW system. Our society, economy and schools have changed dramatically since then,” Mr Barr said.

    “Some research suggests that early school leavers are more likely to become long-term unemployed adults and to earn less when they are employed. Other research finds that productivity growth will be significantly raised by investments in school retention. So it’s important we ensure students are better prepared for an economy that requires higher skill levels than in the past and research suggests raising the school leaving age could be an important part of this.

Not entirely sure they aren’t confusing correlation with causation there.

School leaving age

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24 Responses to New education policy? – actually just consultation on school leaving ages
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jakez jakez 11:30 am 19 Aug 08

Thumper said :

I still say put them in the mines and factories.

Toughens them up for later life.

You know it makes sense.

Think of all the extra work experience they would have by the time they are 18. They’ll be miles ahead.

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 11:10 am 19 Aug 08

Thumper said :

I still say put them in the mines and factories.

Toughens them up for later life.

You know it makes sense.

You know, a booming cheap clothing industry would be a boon for this country…

Anyways, I don’t know if you should raise the leaving age to 17…why not 16? Make them stay for their year 10 at least. I completely agree with more vocation/trades education, these are skilled areas crying out for more people.

Thumper Thumper 8:05 am 19 Aug 08

I still say put them in the mines and factories.

Toughens them up for later life.

You know it makes sense.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:59 am 19 Aug 08

Education is the cornerstone of a successful, harmonious society – keep them in school longer, but offer more options for those not academically-inclined. Partnering up year 11/12 with apprenticeships makes perfect sense.

staria staria 6:38 pm 18 Aug 08

However the point is that these people have to want the education. If they don’t want to improve their reading, english, or maths skills then they won’t.

That’s the kicker isn’t it? Personally I didn’t enjoy school very much, but turned up and got decent grades in the classes I liked (probably could have done a lot better if I did that darn homework…) because I realised early on that you have to get off your butt and work if you want to have more of a life than merely existing – nobody owes you anything, you have to work at it. So I stayed at school. Didn’t particularly want to go to uni, but got a TER just in case I found something I liked. Got into uni but decided not to go as the course, while enjoyable, would not have made a decent career to live on, but didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I kept studying at CIT after college and did 3 courses before hitting on something I enjoyed. Pursued that and found a good job that I still enjoy. How easy would it have been to sit back and do nothing? Very. So I don’t have much time for the whole “I don’t like school” business. Tough luck I say.

However, it does still happen and I know that many colleges in the ACT now provide alternate study options in trades and for apprenticeships and I reckon that if I was an employer in a trade area I would much rather employ someone who has shown they have the work ethic to stick something out and see something through – not some high school drop out who couldn’t be bothered because it was boring.

nyssa76 nyssa76 5:18 pm 18 Aug 08

Truth is, you’re going to have larger classes and the need for more teachers – and at the moment there is a teacher shortage in the ACT.

There are kids who shouldn’t be in school after the leaving age because 1) they don’t care and don’t want to learn, 2) their parents don’t care and just want their kids ‘babysat’ or 3) the student has an apprenticeship lined up.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 5:01 pm 18 Aug 08

Jazz – many colleges already offer units that count toward apprenticeships such as carpentry and cooking etc. The studdents are able to continue with their maths and english etc. After yr 12 they then find it easier to both get an apprenticeship and to complete the theory work at CIT.

These students however generally don’t attempt to get a TER (which the school is happy about because they might drag the marks of the whole school down…)

Don’t worry – companies are screaming out for good quality apprentices – and those that have stuck it out to yr 12 and are already keen on the trade are just the ticket. This scheme has been going for years.

jakez jakez 4:22 pm 18 Aug 08

I absolutely agree that there should be options, but I do not think that they should be forced onto people. Firstly I think it’s philosophically wrong and not the role of Government. However you are right to bring up welfare which significantly clouds that issue. I believe people should be free to make their own choices but they must face the consequences of their decisions. As someone who was recently on Newstart for a couple of months I think it is a system that is by no means perfect, but largely gets the balance right between payment and obligation.

So let’s look at what raising the age of compulsory schooling will d These later years of schooling move largely beyond basic education and work as a transition to higher study (ie, university). For those who want to go as far as Year 12, or those who are heading to university, that is all well and good. However those are not the people that are directly affected by this policy.

Those who want to leave, WANT to leave. Firstly I would suggest that this is not necessarily a bad thing. I question a lot of what is taught in later school, and those who want to go onto other things should be free to do so.

Let’s take your example of a person who cannot get an apprenticeship. There are two issues. Firstly, whether they can get another job. Secondly, whether they have an acceptable level of education and what to do about that.

I would say that yes they can get a job other than an apprenticeship. Many people work their way up from the bottom rung and there is nothing wrong with that. Dick Pratt dropped out of school (I guess he dropped out before they studied the laws against price fixing). Of course most people aren’t going to be Dick Pratt, but jobs are out there.

A valid point to make would be to ask if it is fair that these people (who may not be able to get the better jobs due to a lack of education) suffer for their lack of skills. I agree with you that there needs to be options and there needs to be a way to improve yourself. However the point is that these people have to want the education. If they don’t want to improve their reading, english, or maths skills then they won’t.

I support efforts to encourage peple to improve their education, particularly those who have alow set of skills. However, increasing the compulsory school age won’t help this matter because it is the wrong set of skills, and it will only affect those who won’t get anything out of it.

bubzie bubzie 4:03 pm 18 Aug 08

it should stay as it is, if they can find themself a job/apprenticeship/cit course/.etc, to go to.

but 17? that’s in the middle of year 11..just makes no sence!!

(i’m currently in year 12. believe me, i have seen SO many other students who clearly didnt want to be there, decide to f**k up, and disrupt the place instead. I think that’s why i did so bad in year 10?)

Jazz Jazz 4:01 pm 18 Aug 08

I have thought for some time now that there should be the facility in our schools to start the elements of a trade as part of the curriculum, not something seperate and only for those that dont excell academically.

For those that go on to tertiary studies or academic vocation they’ve alwasy got a partial skill base on which to fall back, and for those not so inclined it builds up a base of skills for which to find employment or further qualifications in a trade.

It also gives some relevance to those other subjects that students might otherwise hate, such as maths, english or science if they can see its association with the trade they are studying along side it.

staria staria 3:28 pm 18 Aug 08

jakez said :

I really cannot see the point in making students stay in school until they reach 17.

Let’s face it, at 15 they either have a decent education or they don’t. If they don’t then they will get absolutely nothing out of the next two years at school. Let them make their own choices with their parents and go into a trade or something of that nature.

Forcing them to stay is just wasting everyone’s time and money.

While I agree that having kids that don’t want to be at school can be disruptive to those who do want to be there, if leaving age is 15 – what then? I firmly believe in that you should work or you study till you can work – the dole is only there for emergencies. If you can line up an apprenticeship when you’re 15 then all well and good, but for those who can’t, then school should still be on the cards. There just needs to be more options for those who do not want to go to uni. I realise this is a bit simplistic and doesn’t cover every single situation, but I think it’s a good rule of thumb nonetheless, and should apply to people of all ages.

Having said that about work or study, I think the austudy (or whatever it may be when you’re older) rate should be brought more into line with unemployment benefits to support this.

jakez jakez 1:07 pm 18 Aug 08

Skidbladnir said :

Mr Evil said :

Morgan said :

In reality what can they do to you if you are 15 and never turn up at school?

Send them to work as a policy adviser for an ACT MLA?

Pretty close.
Not policy, but think closer to ‘senior’ adviser level for a party candidate.
(And I know they read this site too, so I expect to hear about what “Some loser on RiotACT said” eventually)

We can’t have people with a higher than Grade 10 education working for our MLAs, otherwise the employees will be smarter than the employers.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 12:47 pm 18 Aug 08

Mr Evil said :

Morgan said :

In reality what can they do to you if you are 15 and never turn up at school?

Send them to work as a policy adviser for an ACT MLA?

Pretty close.
Not policy, but think closer to ‘senior’ adviser level for a party candidate.
(And I know they read this site too, so I expect to hear about what “Some loser on RiotACT said” eventually)

peterh peterh 12:12 pm 18 Aug 08

peterh said :

there is a survey on the DET website – http://www.det.act.gov.au/forms/pathways_to_the_future

aaah! this is for “community consultation”….

Thumper Thumper 12:10 pm 18 Aug 08

I yearn for the good old days when you could stick them in a coal mine or a cotton factory at the age of 5.

That sorted them out…

Mr Evil Mr Evil 12:03 pm 18 Aug 08

Morgan said :

In reality what can they do to you if you are 15 and never turn up at school? Expell you?

Send them to work as a policy adviser for an ACT MLA?

peterh peterh 12:00 pm 18 Aug 08

there is a survey on the DET website – http://www.det.act.gov.au/forms/pathways_to_the_future

Granny Granny 11:49 am 18 Aug 08

I think it may be wise to wait and see what the policy actually says. Sometimes ideas can make more sense when they are put into a wider context.

Morgan Morgan 11:41 am 18 Aug 08

In reality what can they do to you if you are 15 and never turn up at school? Expell you?

Whatsup Whatsup 11:36 am 18 Aug 08

Just what we need, more young people forced to stay at school disrupting those who want to be there. What a load of rubbish !

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