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SCHOOL AGE TO BE RAISED
Students must stay in class until 17

By MICHAEL OWEN
22may06
SOUTH Australian secondary school students will be forced to stay in school until they turn 17 from January 1, 2009.

The move is part of a State Government strategy to attack one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the nation and secure the future of the state's skilled workforce base.

The plan, revealed to The Advertiser by Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith, incorporates a curriculum overhaul, the establishment of 10 trade schools and extra teachers.

Raising the school leaving age from 16 to 17 by 2010 was one of more than 70 targets set by the Government in its strategic plan, released in April, 2004.

Under the move, which requires legislative change, young people must remain in traineeship, TAFE or school until they are aged 17.









The leaving age was last increased, from 15 to 16, in 2003.

"We have to lift the school leaving age, introduce a new SACE system and introduce trade schools simultaneously," Dr Lomax-Smith said.

"It would be disastrous to keep young people in school to 17 without doing something different." SA Secondary Principals Association president Bob Heath welcomed raising the leaving age in conjunction with other initiatives. The Opposition ruled out bipartisan support for the increase.

Craigmore High School assistant principal Peter Robertson said "no teacher would be happy with raising the school leaving age to 17, it would be insane".

"Young people who want to stay at school will stay. Those who don't want to stay will just be there to get Austudy and cause problems," he claimed.

Opposition education spokesman Duncan McFetridge said raising the leaving age was a "knee-jerk reaction" the Liberal Party would not support.

Education Department research showed students who left school too early to take up employment often were unemployed in their 20s and found it difficult to get work. The state's youth unemployment rate consistently was among the highest in Australia, with the 12-month average rate last year at 23.3 per cent - the second worst in the country.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for last month showed the SA jobless rate for 15 to 19-year-olds looking for full-time work was up five points to 27.7 per cent - the highest in Australia.

Dr Lomax-Smith said that of those students who started Year 8, only 55 per cent obtained a South Australian Certificate of Education. "The problem is young people are not employable and the irony is we have booming industries," she said. She also said:

SCHOOLS have an enormous drop out rate with many young people becoming uninterested, so there must be a focus on "compulsory education, not compulsory schooling".

THE Education Department would work with the non-government school sector to "retrain the teachers".

TEN trade schools would be developed during the next five years.

THE Government "has to increase the numbers of teachers
 

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IMO Centerlink unemployment benefits should be restricted to those who have either finished year 12, or have a diploma/degree/apprenticeship/whatever, so at least you have more than a snowball's chance of getting off the dole. But I'm no social planner.

I'm for lifting the age to 17, as long as non-academic pathways are considered, ie, it's acceptable to leave high school at 15 to peruse an apprenticeship or something to the effect.
 

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Still 16 in NSW..

Raising the age is just stupid IMO, you're prolonging people's pain due to their lack of interest in schooling for another year.

The remedy should be to implement pathways and show the things 16 y.o's could do when they leave school.. such as: Apprenticeships & Trade - WHERE OUR CURRENT SKILLS SHORTAGE IS AT, RIGHT GOVERNMENT? If you're forced to leave at 17 or 18 you're looking at finish a trade at 22 instead of 20, with 2 years simply wasted coz they hated school anyway.
 

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tayser said:
is it still 15 in Victoria? what about other states?
Last I checked, kids were still dropping out after Year 9.

Back at school, every now and then there would be someone much older than everyone else coming back to school because they realised that flipping burgers at McDonalds isn't going to get them anywhere in life.
 

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School suxed bigtime.
 

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Phew. Good move. Dropping school at the end of year 10 or 9 should never be an option. They're too early to map out what they wanna do in their career life, even uni students have trouble deciding!

Ever students should finish year 12 since they'll have the basic knowledge components ready for future education if they aspire.
 

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Still 15 in Victoria. A few drop out in Year 9 (and run to centerlink). A lot more drop out at year 10 (for skills training and that kinda stuff) but most stay till year 12.
 

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Them being young isn't the problem, its our school system not explaining Apprenticeships & Trades properly to them.

We get all these packages/workshops/open days for universities, but young people get none of that for TAFE when they are 16, allowing no exploration into Apprenticeships and trades.
 

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MILIUX said:
Phew. Good move. Dropping school at the end of year 10 or 9 should never be an option. They're too early to map out what they wanna do in their career life, even uni students have trouble deciding!

Ever students should finish year 12 since they'll have the basic knowledge components ready for future education if they aspire.
i don't mind some people leaving after year 10 to pursue apprenticeships and part-time jobs on the side. I know those who dropped out in my year weren't much useful in the community either i.e. they were bludgers and weren't benefitting much from the school system. Another one of my mate took up a job in maccas then got an apprenticeship with the army. If they wanna help Johnny and ply a trade, good on him :eek:kay:

btw I finish year 12 like 5 months after I turn 17.
 
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