New education laws have just been introduced on Norfolk Island to underpin a greater range of services at the Norfolk Island Central School. The laws will lead to greater educational opportunity and further support the effective day-to-day running of the school.
While based on New South Wales legislation, the new education laws have been modified to reflect Norfolk Island's circumstances.
Under the new laws, all children will stay at school until they complete Year 10. This will support the Island's high levels of educational achievement and align minimum requirements with those applying to schoolchildren in NSW.
There will also be a greater focus on student development after Year 10 and until students turn 17. After Year 10, students will need to continue to attend school or engage in other approved education or training, or paid work. This will complement the school's already impressive retention rates from Years 10 to 12.
To help with transition, there are special arrangements for students who turned 15 before 1 January 2018. These students do not need to stay at school, go back to school or take part in other approved education or training or paid work, provided they:
- turned 15 before 1 January 2018 and were enrolled in Year 9, 10, 11 or 12 at the school in 2017; or
- turned 15 before 1 January 2017 and were enrolled at the school.
All other students will need to stay at school until they complete Year 10 and then continue to attend school or take part in other approved education or training or paid work until they turn 17.
Arrangements for starting school and for teaching the Norf"k language and Norfolk Island culture will stay the same under the new laws.
The Parents and Citizens Association will continue its important role, with additional responsibilities in promoting the recreation and welfare of students and encouraging parent and community participation in curriculum issues.
Based on the Commonwealth Minister's Legislation Consultation Framework, the effect of the new laws on the community will be limited. The community was consulted on the changes to the education laws in November last year.
A number of industrial relations laws have also just come into effect for NSW employees at the school. These laws clarify employment arrangements for NSW employees and will not affect other members of the community.
The Ordinance applying the new laws has been registered on the Federal Register of Legislation and is available at www.legislation.gov.au/Home.