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Government Committed to Education

Thu 17 May 2012

Nick McKim

Minister for Education and Skills

Education will continue to be one of the Government's top priorities with $1.311 billion to be spent on education and training in this year's State Budget.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, said today the budget also included more than $23 million for infrastructure.

"There is funding for a School Transition Fund, a Professional Learning Institute, reducing the carbon footprint for schools and colleges, and to allow schools to have a greater say in decision making," Mr McKim said.

"We are continuing to make sound decisions to ensure Tasmanian students have the best education they can, both today and into the future.

"The School Viability Reference Group's Report has challenged us to think of better ways to work with our school communities.

"There is additional funding of $3.5 million over two years to support and encourage school communities to take responsibility for their school's future.

"The School Transition Fund will be available to help school communities who may choose to voluntarily close, amalgamate, or co-locate.

"The fund will primarily be used to support transition arrangements as outlined in the School Viability Reference Group Report and may include capital works and improvements at school sites where students from schools volunteering to close, amalgamate, or co-locate will be educated."

Mr McKim said $2 million was available in 2012-13 for increased local decision-making in more Tasmanian schools.

"Up to 22 Tasmanian Government schools will have the opportunity to be part of a national initiative that will give principals, parents and school communities more say in how their school is run.

"Every school community has a unique knowledge of the learning needs of their students and is in the best position to make decisions on how to better respond to these needs.

"We will continue to build on the great foundations in the early years by investing nearly $6 million in the 2012-13 Budget to support the continued operation of the successful Launching into Learning (LiL) program.

"The program has now been expanded to every primary school following the 2011 results from a longitudinal study measuring the effects of LiL.

"This program has reaped rich rewards for students who have performed better after regularly participating.

"The initiative provides support and intervention in the early years, which is more effective in achieving a wider range of successful outcomes for students than interventions later in life.

"It particularly aims to improve educational outcomes for children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds."

Mr McKim said that the Raising the Bar Closing the Gap initiative has now been implemented in primary and secondary sectors.

"As part of this initiative, $11 million has been allocated in the 2012-13 Budget to go directly to targeted schools to be managed at the local level," he said.

More than $23 million has been allocated in the department's Capital Investment Program for the 2012-13 financial year which includes:

  • $6.850 million for LINC Tasmania  including Infrastructure;
  • $4.5 million for the Port Sorell Primary School; and
  • $7.13 for Trade training Centres.

"The Department of Education expects to meet its 2011-12 budget savings target of $45 million with cost-saving measures introduced in last year's Budget to continue into the 2012-13 financial year.

"As with all other agencies, the department will continue to identify savings and productivity improvements to contribute to the Government's task of achieving a sustainable budget position."

Government Committed to Education