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School leaving age to jump to 17

By johnboy - 15 April 2009 26

[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.”

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
School leaving age to jump to 17
MWF 6:23 pm 14 Apr 09

“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.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Woody Mann-Caruso 5:19 pm 14 Apr 09

I’d rather see DET producing an education system which gets better voluntary completion rates.

Why make life more difficult for everybody? Just set a target, force compliance, fudge data to create ‘outcomes’ and f.ck the consequences.

peterh 5:06 pm 14 Apr 09

I went to college and did yr 11 & 12. didn’t want to be there, as I had an apprenticeship. didn’t try hard, didn’t get a yr 12 certificate of any worth. what are they thinking? maybe it is an attempt to gain more funding from the fed govt? I can’t see it benefiting anyone, except the act govt.

housebound 3:40 pm 14 Apr 09

A couple of thoughts:
1. most governments do something like this when unemployment stats might get embarrasing (vague memories of 1982/3)
2. this is one of a series of free rides given to the government by the CT’s education reporter in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps the Minister for Education has a new media advisor?

Furry Jesus 1:31 pm 14 Apr 09

DrShrink said :

“if young people were not attending school they, or their parents, would be issued with a formal warning and persistent non-compliance would incur fines or possible jail time.”

How on earth could this be enforced? And the punishments are not just for the kids, as the fines and gaol (British/Australian spelling)time also count for parents who can’t make their children go to school. When you get to the chronic non-compliance end of the absenteeism continuum, there’s usually a hell of a lot more going on for the young person and the family than simple school refusal.

I shudder to think of my dear old dad doing hard time for my chronic non-attendance when I was a wee rebellious lad. ‘What are you in for, mate?’ ‘My son went to see the midday session of Watchmen when he should have been doing English.’

Furry Jesus 1:20 pm 14 Apr 09

Thumper said :

Kids who don’t want to be at school disrupting those who do want to be at school.

That’s a recipe for success.

No. That’s school.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 1:00 pm 14 Apr 09

Kids who don’t want to be at school disrupting those who do want to be at school.

That’s a recipe for success.

Exactly.

Speak to the majority of normalish kids and although they wouldn’t say they like school, they understand it’s necessary, and generally participate. Having those who don’t ‘get it’ being forced to stay just makes it harder for everyone.

johnboy 12:18 pm 14 Apr 09

I’d rather see DET producing an education system which gets better voluntary completion rates.

Legislating attendance to produce a better headline number will not see the better life outcomes follow.

DrShrink 12:10 pm 14 Apr 09

Sorry to double post, but only just noticed this line “if young people were not attending school they, or their parents, would be issued with a formal warning and persistent non-compliance would incur fines or possible jail time.”

Jail for a 16yr old not going to school or working ? That’s appalling and way over the top. Let’s hope the Libs & Greens wont let such penalties through. Better a system which doesn’t get everyone, than one that jails kids for not failing to be upstanding members of society.

DrShrink 11:57 am 14 Apr 09

Most kids dont want to be there, so i’m not sure how much additional disruption the wanna-be drop outs cause. Every extra year in school significantly contributes to later income, job prospects and even overall life quality. So long as the government is coming to the party to provide real opportunities for those whom school is not a worthwhile option, then this imposition on individual freedom may be permissible. My own view is that govt ought to set up it’s citizens as much as possible, and then largely leave them to it, rather than this weak but regular hand holding.

Though one interesting thing with the report is just how few were involved in its submissions (only 8 contributors were under 24, so who knows how many were actual school kids). Plus the report seemed pretty light on the details and only offering suggestions, yet the CT is running it as actual new policy.

Pommy bastard 10:42 am 14 Apr 09

where young people would be supported to remain in education, training or work.

I don’t think this equates with keeping them solely within the mainstream provision, where they would be nothing but a pest?

Thumper 10:34 am 14 Apr 09

Kids who don’t want to be at school disrupting those who do want to be at school.

That’s a recipe for success.

Pommy bastard 10:33 am 14 Apr 09

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?

Or it could been seen that they are given another bite of the cherry, at an older (and possibly more mature) age, before being consigned to the scrapheap.

p1 10:32 am 14 Apr 09

I am not sure how exactly they plan to enforce this? Centrelink already requires people to be employed (or seeking employment) or in training to receive money (so withholding pay won’t change). Is this a plan to make sure the new prison in filled?

Inappropriate 10:24 am 14 Apr 09

I think the proposed idea is a decent compromise. For the record, I completed yr12 and university, but I don’t support forcing kids to stay on to yr 12 if they don’t want to be there: just harms everyone. That said, making sure they’re transitioning into work, or other form of training, means they’re not sitting around doing sweet f-all.

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