[First filed: April 14, 2009 @ 09:55]
Very very quietly, without a media release, the ACT Department of Education and Training has slipped out it’s “Pathways to the future” paper.
The paper is dated February 2009, but the DET website reckons it was released on the ninth of this month.
Essentially the school leaving age is now being raised to 17, from 15.
- ACT Education Minister Andrew Barr said the Government would table its legislation in the Legislative Assembly’s spring sittings after issuing a community consultation paper yesterday which saw general support for the scheme.
The legislation will affect about 900 ACT young people who leave school each year before completing their Year 12 Certificate.
For some reason we’re in a rush to pre-empt negotiations on a national school leaving age.
This from the ES of the paper:
- Community feedback showed little support for changing the compulsory school leaving age, but strong support in favour of the introduction of a compulsory participation age of 17, where young people would be supported to remain in education, training or work.
So the kids the education system has already failed will be forced to endure another two years of it so that we feel better about it?
On the plus side we’ll keep the rising unemployment down a bit by whacking the kids.
UPDATED: The Liberals’ Steve Doszpot is concerned:
- “The Minister must inform the community where the extra spending will come from to support the increased number of young people who will need to remain in school or in other forms of study.
“Some of the key aspects missing from the Government’s plans are: Where will the additional budget required to cope with the 900 students come from? How will class sizes be reduced, and how many additional teachers will be required to implement these plans?
“Mr Barr must also assure teachers from colleges and vocational training centres like the CIT, they will not be over-stretched and under pressure from this proposed increase in student numbers.
FURTHER UPDATE: Andrew Barr’s office has this morning put a media release online dated 13 April explaining how it’s the community that wants him to do this:
- “The community response to the ACT Government’s Pathways to the Future consultation paper is clear,” Mr Barr said. “Submissions showed strong support for the introduction of a compulsory participation age of 17, where young people would be required and supported to stay in education, training or work.
“Going on to Year 12 or to university is not the best choice for all students. We recognise this but want to ensure every young Canberran is studying, training or working after Year 10 in a way that suits their needs, abilities and their plans for the future.
“Labor’s plan will be good for the economy in the long term and will help make sure kids who don’t go to Year 12 or university don’t get left behind.”