What’s New?

Information about education and training after Year 10 and the increase in the minimum leaving requirements from 2020.

For all Tasmanian education and training providers:

For parents:

For students:

  • Anything Can Happen – why staying in education is so important and how many options are available to them.


On 10 July 2017, the Education Act 2016 (passed by Parliament in November 2016) commenced along with the legislative framework of the Education Regulations 2017, Ministerial Instructions and Secretary’s Instructions detailing operational matters related to the Education Act:

Ministerial Instructions – apply to all school sectors.

Ministerial Instruction No 1 for Enrolment of a School Aged Child or Youth (PDF, 147KB)

This Ministerial Instruction specifies the information requirements to enrol a school-aged child or youth in a state or non-government school, apply for an exemption from enrolment, and enrol home-educated school-aged children or youth at state or non-government schools.

Ministerial Instruction No 2 for Dual Enrolment of Students with a Disability (PDF, 139KB)

This Ministerial Instruction applies to all State and Non-Government Schools to allow school-aged children or youths with disability to dual enrol in a support school while maintaining enrolment in a mainstream school when all the requirements in the Instructions are met.

Ministerial Instruction No 3 for Part-Time Attendance at School (PDF, 92.1KB)

This Ministerial Instruction outlines the process for applications for part-time attendance, and specifies the circumstances in which a parent of a school-aged child, or independent student may apply to attend State and non-government schools on a part-time basis.

Ministerial Instruction No 4 Students Excused from Daily Attendance at School (PDF, 210KB)

This Ministerial Instruction specifies the circumstances in which a school-aged child or youth is excused from attendance at school, which are in addition to those circumstances identified in sections 19 and 36 the Education Act 2016.

Ministerial Instruction No 5 for Authorising a Person to Act as an Authorised Person for the Purpose of Sections 40(2) and 40(3) (PDF, 117KB)

This Ministerial Instruction sets out the requirements for authorised persons.

Ministerial Instruction No 6 Relating to School Student Absences (PDF, 150KB)

This Ministerial Instruction outlines the processes to be followed in managing absences of school students, the information to be included in a referral to the Registrar and how this information will be assessed against the requirements for convening a compulsory conciliation conference, and requirements of a conciliator in conducting a conference.  

Ministerial Instruction No 7 for Elimination or Amelioration of Risks to Health and Safety of Persons at School (PDF, 109KB)

This Ministerial Instruction applies to all State and Non-Government Schools and provides principals with the authority to request or require information about a child’s behaviour where it may pose a risk to the health and safety of the child, or other persons at the school, while supporting the child’s access to education.

Ministerial Instruction No 8 for Transition Statement (PDF, 128KB)

This Ministerial Instruction applies to State and non-government schools and registered home educators. It specifies the requirements of a Principal or the Registrar to issue a Transition Statement to a student in Year 10.

Ministerial Instruction No 9 for Year 12 Completion Certificate (PDF, 123KB)

This Ministerial Instruction applies to State and non-government schools and registered home educators. It specifies the requirements of a Principal or the Registrar to issue a Year 12 Completion Certificate.

Ministerial Instruction No 10 for Application for Exemption from Participation in an Approved Learning Program (PDF, 151KB)

This Ministerial Instruction specifies the requirements for a parent or independent youth to apply for an exemption to participate in an Approved Learning Program.

Ministerial Instruction No 11 for Application for Part Time Attendance at an Approved Learning Program (PDF, 103 KB)

This Ministerial Instruction specifies the circumstances in which a parent of a youth or an independent youth may apply to attend an Approved Learning Program part-time.

Ministerial Instruction No 12 for School Associations (PDF, 211KB)

This Ministerial Instruction outlines the process a school association must follow in order to apply for approval to undertake a restricted activity.

Ministerial Instruction No 13 for Home Education (PDF, 114KB)

This Ministerial Instruction sets out the processes associated with the assessment, approval and monitoring of a home education program.

Ministerial Instruction No 14 for Grants to Registered Non-Government Schools (PDF, 114KB)

This Ministerial Instruction specifies the classes of children or persons that are eligibly enrolled at a non-government registered school to enable the Minister for Education and Training to approve grants to the governing bodies of non-government registered schools.

Ministerial Instruction No 15 Early Entry to School (PDF, 217KB)

This Ministerial Instruction specifies the requirements for early enrolment of children who, due to their age, do not satisfy the school starting age requirements in the Education Act 2016.

Secretary’s Instructions – apply to Government schools only.

Secretary’s Instruction No 1 for Attending State School after Compulsory Education (Year 13) (PDF, 270KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction outlines the application process for a youth or person who is not a child and who has completed his or her Approved Learning Program to enrol at State school for the purposes of undertaking further education (commonly known as Year 13). It also outlines how such applications are to be assessed by a Principal.

Secretary’s Instruction No 2 for Enrolment from Outside Intake Area (PDF, 148KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction sets out the manner for determining whether a State school has the ability to accept out of intake area enrolments, the conditions that must form part of the State school’s out of intake area enrolment procedure, criteria that must be used by a State school to prioritise enrolment from outside intake area, and model out of intake area procedures.

Secretary’s Instruction No 3 for Unacceptable Behaviour at a State School (PDF, 163KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction outlines the behaviour that constitutes unacceptable behaviour by students and volunteers at, and visitors to State schools and school activities, and the management of such behaviour by schools. And the processes that a Principal is to develop as the response to unacceptable behaviour, including the management of such behaviour. 

Secretary’s Instruction No 4 for Suspension, Exclusion, Expulsion or Prohibition of State School Students (PDF, 150KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction outlines the processes for responding to unacceptable behaviour of a student before suspension of that student may be used, processes to be followed when issuing a detention or immediate and non-urgent suspension, and the requirement for educational instruction for students during suspension.   

Secretary’s Instruction No 5 for Managing Absences in a State school that are not Authorised by the Education Act (2016) (PDF, 282KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction outlines the processes to be followed in managing the absences not authorised by Part 3 of the Education Act 2016.  

Secretary’s Instruction No 6 for State School Student Dress Code (PDF, 122KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction sets out the matters that a Principal is to take into account in developing a dress code for the students at the school.   

Secretary’s Instruction No 7 for School Associations (PDF, 1.9MB)

This Secretary’s Instruction issues directions for the formation, operation and administration of school associations.  

Secretary’s Instruction No 8 for Religious Instruction in a State School (PDF, 264KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction specifies the requirements for delivering religious instruction when a State school chooses to offer religious instruction. 

Secretary’s Instruction No 9 for School Levies and Charges (PDF, 363KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction authorises Principals to impose levies and charges for educational instruction and provide instruction for schools when setting and implementing levies and charges.

Secretary’s Instruction No 10 for Transfer of a State School Student (PDF, 352KB)

This Secretary’s Instruction outlines the circumstances that may constitute the grounds for the transfer of a State school student and the processes to be followed in managing a student’s transfer under the specified circumstances.

This is a significant milestone, as the first time in more than 20 years that Tasmania has an updated Education Act, which provides a strong foundation for improving the education outcomes for all Tasmanians.

The Education Act provides every child and young person in Tasmania with the opportunity to continue to learn and reach their full potential, so they can live fulfilling lives and contribute positively to our community.

The Act is a contemporary and cohesive legislative framework that has been shaped by input from education stakeholders over two years of extensive consultation, including consideration of more than 1 000 responses from three rounds of consultation.

Thank you to everyone who has given their feedback throughout the Education Act Review, the consultation on the draft Bill and the work underway on implementation.

What does the Act mean for Tasmanian schools?

The Act provides schools with an up-to-date legal framework that better supports the high quality teaching and learning in Tasmania’s schools, focused on supporting attendance, engagement, retention and attainment of Tasmania’s students.

The implementation of the Act is a transitional and ongoing process, commencing on 10 July 2017 and continuing through to 2021.
For Tasmanian Schools, the implementation of the Act will mean that some existing policies and procedures will be updated.

Updated Government School policies and processes for respectful behaviour, student dress code and uniform, attendance and enrolment; including out-of-area enrolment, part-time enrolment of home educated students and dual enrolment for students with disability; have been developed and are now in use.

Work is ongoing towards the review of Government primary and combined school intake areas, with the initial consultation now complete and a further consultation period to occur in 2019, and an updated Government School Levies and Charges Policy supporting universal access to education.

2020 will see further changes come into effect including raising Tasmania’s education and training leaving requirements to have Tasmanian students stay in education and training for longer and helping them to achieve a qualification that significant improves their life chances and choices.

2020 will also mark the commencement of Working Together for 3 Year Olds to facilitate the participation in quality pre-school programs for eligible three-year-old children.

The staged implementation and ongoing close consultation with schools, school communities and education stakeholders ensures we meet the needs of Tasmanian learners now and in the future.

To help answer common questions parents have about the implementation of the Education Act, there are Frequently Asked Questions for Parents (DOCX, 172KB).

What are the key changes from 10 July 2017?


  • Daily attendance: With consistent attendance at school being critical to achieving education outcomes and keeping students engaged in learning, there is a new limited set of circumstances in which a student can be authorised not to attend school – All school sectors.
  • Part-time attendance: To ensure that approval for a student to attend school on a part-time basis is in the best interests of the student and supported by relevant information and evidence, there is an updated process for parents or independent youths to apply for part-time attendance. See the Non-Government School part-time application and Government School part-time application (DOCX, 89.1KB) – All school sectors.
  • Authorised Persons: Schools may nominate ‘Authorised Persons’ to investigate any suspected unauthorised absence of a student. This continues an existing power for Government Schools that is being extended to Non-Government Schools – All school sectors.


Respectful behaviour to support a safe school environment:

  • Adult behaviour: To assist in managing adult behaviour in a school context, Principals are able to require an adult volunteer or visitor to leave the school premises or a school activity for unacceptable behaviour for a specified period. Government Schools outline behaviour expectations as part of their policy for school volunteers and visitors – All school sectors.
  • Suspension:Schools use a range of approaches including providing support to students and only apply behavioural responses that result in time away from school (eg suspension) as a last resort or when necessary to ensure the safety of students and staff at the school. To ensure that education provision is maintained, Government School Principals must arrange and ensure that any student who is suspended is provided with appropriate education during the period of suspension – Government Schools.
  • Requesting third-party information: To support a child’s access to education and support students who may behave in a way that leads to a risk of harm to themselves or others, schools can request information about a student’s behaviour from a third-party to enable the development and maintenance of strategies to better support the student – All school sectors.

Secondary education:

  • Leaving requirements: With evidence clearly demonstrating that students who stay at school have much better employment and life outcomes, students are required to continue to participate in education and training until they complete Year 12, attain a Certificate III, or they turn 17 years of age (whichever occurs first). The minimum leaving age increases to 18 in 2020 – All school sectors.
  • Exemption from enrolment: To ensure that exemption from attending school is in the best interests of the student and supported by relevant information and evidence, there is an updated process for parents or independent youths to apply for exemption from attending school (PDF, 501KB)All school sectors.
  • Year 10 Transition Statement: A Year 10 Transition Statement is issued to show a student has completed their education to Year 10 and has submitted a proposed Learning Program (for Non-Government Schools this is ‘Eligible Options’, for Government Schools this is a ‘Transition Plan’) to move into senior secondary or other further education.  The statement acknowledges a student’s commitment to continue working to reach their education goals with an ongoing education pathway – All school sectors.
  • Year 12 Completion Certificate: A Year 12 Completion Certificate is issued as formal notification that a student has fulfilled their entitlement to thirteen years of compulsory education. This is an important notification ahead of the increase in the minimum school leaving requirements from 2020. For Government Schools, the Year 12 Completion Certificate will be a letter mailed to students after the last day of Year 12 examinations – All school sectors.

Education Registrar:

  • Recognising that unauthorised absences of students from attending school can be for many complex reasons, the Office of the Education Registrar has been established to help resolve reasons for children’s continued unauthorised non-attendance at school. Schools can refer continued unexplained non-attendance to the Registrar to begin the new compulsory conciliation conference process whereby students, parents and school Principals can discuss and agree what needs to happen to support children attending school – All school sectors.
  • The Registrar is also responsible for overseeing the registration of Non-Government Schools, working with the Non-Government Schools Registration Board and managing home education registration with advice from the Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council – Non-Government Schools and home educators.

School Associations:

  • Recognising the important role that School Associations play in the operation of Government schools, School Associations automatically become incorporated under the Act  – Government Schools.
  • Any School Associations undertaking any restricted activities will need to apply to the Secretary. This includes; employing persons, holding or dealing with property, borrowing or loaning money or entering into contracts of more than $5000. This reflects that under the Act they will have protection from legal liability – Government Schools.

Dress code and Uniform:

  • Government schools may continue to choose whether they wish to develop a dress code for their students, in addition to having school uniform for Prep to Year 10 students– Government Schools.

Religious education:

  • Government Schools may continue to provide non-compulsory religious instruction if they choose to. There is no requirement to offer religious instruction and it must not be compulsory. Schools will require parents to notify the Principal in writing whether or not their child is to attend and they may withdraw at any time – Government Schools.

What are the future Education Act changes?

  • From 2020, thirteen years of compulsory schooling (from Prep to Year 12).
  • From 2020, raising the education and training leaving requirements so that students must participate in education and training until they complete Year 12, attain a Certificate III, or they turn 18 years of age (whichever occurs first).
  • From 2020, the exemption from the requirement to participate in education and training for employment increases from 25 hours an week to 35 hours a week.
  • The Working Together for 3 Year Olds initiative will be available for eligible children with the greatest need, with access being guided by a set of criteria to include children who are three years old by 1 January in any year from 2020 (i.e. the year before Kindergarten)
  • Government School Intake Areas (home areas) to be determined by the Department for Education, Children and Young People Secretary and published on a five year basis. Schools will be consulted on proposed changes to intake area boundaries. Enrolments from outside a school’s intake area will continue where there is ability to take further enrolments at the school.

Education Act Implementation Project

An Education Act Implementation Project Team is supporting a change management, staged transition with ongoing consultation and support being provided to schools and areas impacted by the policy changes under the Act.

There will be regular updates on implementation of the Act and if you have any questions or feedback, contact edact@decyp.tas.gov.au

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