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Education in Tasmania facts for kids

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Education in Tasmania
Department of Education
Minister for Education Sarah Courtney
General details
Primary languages English
System type State
Compulsory education 1868
Enrollment (2011)
Total 83,294
Primary 43,854
Secondary 39,440
Secondary diploma Tasmanian Certificate of Education

The education system in Tasmania comprises the education of children from their early years, through kindergarten, primary and high school, and tertiary education in universities and vocational education and training organisations. The system is delivered by the government-run K-12 schooling system, and numerous independent schools and colleges, most of which are controlled or sponsored by religious organisations. Public education in Tasmania is managed primarily by the Tasmanian Department of Education. The Department is responsible for all aspects of education in Tasmania including schooling, adult education, the State Library and TasTAFE, a vocational tertiary institution with many campuses around the state.

Education in Australia details a national overview of the education system.


Christ College 1846-1856, Bishopsbourne

The oldest tertiary institution to be founded in Australia was the theological school Christ College in Bishopsbourne, Tasmania, in 1846. Today Christ College is a residential college of the University of Tasmania, which was founded in 1890, making the university the fourth oldest in the country.

In 1868 Tasmania became the first state to introduce compulsory education. In 1885 the Tasmanian Department of Education was founded under the Education Act 1885 (Tas), the fifth Australian colony to do so. In 1908 school fees for compulsory education were abolished, the last state to do so.

Secondary education

St Mary's College, Hobart
St Mary's College in Hobart

Similarly to other states, years 11 and 12 students can obtain the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) or can complete Vocational Education Training. Yet unlike other states, Tasmania has separate schools, called colleges, for the final two years. Years 7-10 are undertaken at high schools, although district schools and many nongovernment schools combine primary, high school, and college education together, depending on the needs of the school.

There has been much of criticism of this system of education as only half of year 10 students will go on to college and complete their secondary education. Furthermore, 50% of the state is classified as functionally illiterate, and more than half of the state's teenagers fall below the national baseline for maths. Students who do not live near a college, which are all located in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, are frequently required to board to obtain their TCE, forcing many 16 year olds to leave home. However, recent changes by the Tasmanian government has led to a push to make regional high schools offer TCE subjects.

Public high schools

Public high schools are predominantly co-educational and teach students from Years 7 to 10 or more recently Year 12. A list of these schools is located at the list of high schools in Tasmania.


In Tasmania, colleges only cater for year 11 and 12 students. There are eight government colleges in Tasmania, and one independent college. A list of these schools is located at the list of college schools in Tasmania.

District schools

In Tasmania there are 26 district schools or district high schools. These schools are located in rural areas where primary and secondary education are taught on a single campus, usually ranging from kindergarten to Year 12 (K-12). A list of these schools is located at the list of district schools in Tasmania.

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