Many regional families and communities are excited about the opportunities of bringing year 7 into high school in 2022.
We are working with country schools to ensure they have the right support for the move, especially in terms of staffing, professional learning and transport requirements.
In preparation for the move, we conducted widespread consultation with our rural schools and communities so they could share their hopes and individual concerns.
Here's what we've learnt from the consultation and the pilot program at John Pirie Secondary School.
Year 7s are well and truly ready for high school
The pilot program is tracking the progress of students, families and staff from three schools that have already welcomed year 7s. Feedback from pilot program students has indicated the vast majority are enjoying making new friends, trying new sports and activities, and learning in a larger, more mature environment.
Students will quickly feel comfortable in the company of older students
Our pilot schools established peer leadership and mentoring programs to help year 7s feel welcomed by older year levels. The older students played an important role in orientating them to the high school settings. Orientation and transition activities are being organised by individual schools to suit their communities’ needs, but peer mentorship will be a common feature of them. Contact your local high school for more information on orientation programs and activities they have planned.
By default, all year 7s will go to high school or area school from 2022
However, if your primary school is more than 20km away from your local area or high school by road, you are eligible to seek a ‘by exception’ exemption from your primary school principal to keep your current year 6 student in their primary school for year 7. These arrangements, which also apply to School of the Air, will apply for a transitional period until 2024, provided you attend one of 45 eligible primary schools.
School's won’t close as part of the year 7 to high school move
For the eligible primary schools mentioned above, we are also offering top-up funding to ensure they don’t lose classes due to the departure of year 7s. The funding will be available up to and including 2024.
For more information visit the Year 7 to High School webpage.