The three main education providers are the Tasmanian Government (213 schools), Catholic Education (37) and the Independent schools sector (29). Government schools are often called State Schools or Public Schools. Non-government schools are usually called Private schools.
Many Private schools have a religious affiliation, but some are non-denominational. All Tasmanian State schools are non-denominational.
Most Tasmanian schools are co-educational, however there are two single gender Government schools, four single gender Catholic schools and two single gender Independent schools.
Tasmanian schools have a non-compulsory Kindergarten year; followed by a Preparatory (Prep) year; with six years in Primary school (Year 1 to 6); four years in Secondary school (Years 7-10) and two years at Senior Level (Years 11 and 12). Most government schools are either Primary or Secondary, with a small number of schools with Primary and Secondary levels on the same campus (Combined). There is a greater proportion of Combined schools among the Private sector.
To start Kindergarten, a child should usually be at least four years of age by January 1 in the year in which they start. A child who turns five by January 1 in any year must start school that year. All Tasmanian school children must attend school until the age of 16.
The Essential Learnings Framework is the curriculum framework for learners from Kindergarten to Year 10 in Tasmanian Government schools. It is also in use in many non-government schools. The Tasmanian Department of Education is currently refining the curriculum framework, replacing 18 components with seven. The proposed framework would be made up of: English/Literacy; Mathematics/Numeracy; Science and Technology; Information and Communications Technology (ICT); Society and History; the Arts; and Personal Development
When students complete Year 10 they receive a Tasmanian Year 10 Certificate which lists their achievements in the areas of Being Literate, Being Numerate and Maintaining Wellbeing. Students enrolled in Government schools are automatically registered to receive a Year 10 Certificate and Catholic Schools and Independent Schools that undertake the Essential Learnings curriculum can register students for the Certificate.
Years 11 and 12 in Tasmanian schools are called Senior Secondary. Many Secondary schools in the Government go to Year 10, and Year 11 and 12 students then attend Senior Colleges.
The TCE is awarded to students who have completed Year 12 subjects that contribute to the TCE.
For entrance to the University of Tasmania students must receive a Satisfactory Achievement (SA) result, or better, in a minimum of four University-approved TCE subjects.
There is a specialist Agricultural school in Tasmania.
The Centre for Extended Learning Opportunities oversees programmes for Gifted and talented students within mainstream schools in Tasmania.
Many Independent and Catholic schools offer scholarships to students for academic excellence and some may offer scholarships to students who display excellence in other areas.
The Education department encourages students with disabilities to attend regular schools where they are provided with necessary support. If attendance at a regular school is not a suitable option, they may be eligible to attend a Special School. One Special Needs in school in Tasmania is Independent and the remainder are Government.
There is one school in Tasmania which offers an alternative educational philosophical approach (Rudolph Steiner) and it’s an Independent school.
Distance Education Tasmania provides an education to students from Kindergarten to Grade 10 who live in remote areas, or are unable to attend school.
There are Boarding schools in the Private school sector at Primary and Secondary level and one Girls boarding school in the Government sector.
International students can study in a variety of schools in Tasmania.
Most schools expect students to wear uniforms. Uniforms are usually unique to the school.
There are three school terms in Tasmanian schools. During Term one there is about a week-long holiday over Easter. There is a holiday mid-year and in the last half of September, with the main holidays over the summer Christmas period. Government schools follow an annually determined set of term dates. Private school term dates can vary a little a little from these and from each other.