There is no reason Tasmania cannot lead the nation in education: Deputy Premier of Tasmania

“There is a strong and lasting connection between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor educational outcomes,” Deputy Premier of Tasmania, the Hon. Jeremy Rockliff said at the Tasmanian release of CEDA’s report, Addressing entrenched disadvantage in Australia.

“That shouldn’t condemn children from less fortunate circumstances from doing well,” he said.

“Success in education systems is no longer about how much money is spent, but how the money is spent.

“In Tasmania, we have some of the poorest social indicators in the nation.”

Mr Rockliff said the Government was taking a consultative approach to develop policies and strategies to achieve real changes.

“One of the most powerful initiatives … is the joint initiative between the State Government and the University of Tasmania to establish the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment,” he said.

“This centre will analyse, research and make suggestions to tackle some of Tasmania’s enduring educational problems.

“The biggest practical demonstration of the value of the centre – and also the primary source of the Government’s investment in it – is the Developing Our Workforce Strategy, which is being implemented under the umbrella of the Underwood Centre.”

Mr Rockliffe said the strategy had so far resulted in:

  • A new Teacher Intern Placement Program aimed at attracting 40 new graduates into Tasmanian schools;
  • A Business Manager Development Initiative aimed at upskilling our school business managers to diploma level; and
  • A Teacher Development Initiative aimed at upskilling existing teachers in areas of high need.                     

“There is no reason … that we couldn’t be leading the nation in education,” he said.

Also speaking at the event in Hobart, The Smith Family Head of Research and Advocacy, Anne Hampshire said: “In Tasmania, there is an over 25 per cent gap between high SES (socioeconomic status) young people and low SES young people in terms of completing Year 12.”

“The gap starts early in our most disadvantaged communities across Australia,” she said.

“One in three children is behind on one of the key areas of literacy, numeracy, communication, social skills.

“It starts early but the end result is disengagement among adults.
“In our most disadvantaged communities across Australia, two in five 17 to 24-year olds are not fully engaged in education, employment and training.”

“Early intervention is unquestionably the most cost-effective way of improving educational outcomes.”


This event was part of a series of events held around Australia to launch CEDA’s policy perspective, Addressing entrenched disadvantage in Australia.