Tas. responds to school debt claim
Tasmania's Education Minister has ordered an investigation after claims of intense pressure for outstanding levies.
The Opposition raised claims in Question Time about children being left out of activities and parents being harassed by debt collectors.
Deputy Labor leader Michelle O'Byrne cited school newsletters that warned “all outstanding debts will be placed in outside hands for collection on 1st June”.
“Another school has written to parents saying that unless levies have been paid in full, students are not permitted to participate in any school camp or trip which incurs a cost of a reasonable nature,” Ms O'Byrne said.
“Minister, why are you allowing students to be disadvantaged in such a way and will you rule out not only any further debt collection notices, but children being excluded from educational opportunities?”
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said he would investigate.
“I'll look into the individual cases and the schools to which you refer,” he said.
“I would take a very dim view of such correspondence to parents... I do not agree that any student should be excluded from participating in educational programs in school.
“That is my very clear and firm view.”
Mr Rockliff later issued a statement saying the conduct was not acceptable and contrary to government policy.
The Departmental Secretary has been asked to investigate.