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Year 7 to high school


Year 7 public school students will be taught in high school from term 1, 2022.   

Year 7 students are already a part of high school in all other Australian states and territories. Some of our South Australian public high schools, such as Clare High School and Seaford Secondary College, are already teaching year 7s.

Many South Australian non-government schools are also currently teaching year 7s in a high school setting.  

Regional consultation

Communities are being invited to have their say on how year 7 will move to high school through a series of forums in regional South Australia, and through the YourSAy website

The consultation will test the possibility of providing eligible families with a choice to keep their year 7 child in primary school, if their primary school is located more than 20 kilometres by road from their nearest area or high school.

Modelled on the Western Australian approach, the option would be available for a limited period of 3 years from the 2022 statewide transition date, to smooth the system changeover.

Forty-six primary schools have been identified under the proposed approach.

We want to hear from schools and communities in regional South Australia about the opportunities and challenges they anticipate.

The community can register to attend a forum and share their views through the YourSAy website from now until Tuesday 3 September. The regional forums will start in week 1 of term 3, 2019 and run until week 7.

Results of the consultation will be presented to the Government later this year to inform their final decision about how to best respond to the needs of regional communities.

Year 7 in high school 2020 pilot

Wirreanda Secondary School, Mitcham Girls High School and John Pirie Secondary School have given families the unique opportunity to register interest for their child to enter high school as a year 7 in 2020. 

More than 360 families have already registered an interest in enrolling their child in 1 of the 3 pilot schools.

Following a localised nomination process, the schools were selected for their unique characteristics that will provide valuable information from different school contexts.

The pilot will allow for early insights into areas such as workforce planning, funding arrangements, wellbeing, curriculum and transition processes between primary and high schools.

These insights will inform the statewide transition of year 7 into high school in 2020. 

Participation in the pilot is voluntary and normal transition and enrolment processes will continue at all schools for current year 7s enrolling as year 8s next year.

For more information, you can contact the schools:

Mitcham Girls High Schools
Phone: 8272 8233

Wirreanda Secondary School
Phone: 8329 7200

John Pirie Secondary School
Phone: 8632 0400

The final enrolment process will be completed by 21 June 2019.

Benefits to students

Australian Curriculum

Moving year 7s into high school will align South Australia’s public schools with the national curriculum taught in high schools.  

The curriculum has a focus on specialist courses for year 7 students. It is designed to be taught in high school settings, with specialist teachers and resources, such as fully equipped science labs.

The Australian Curriculum also provides a grouped curriculum for year 7 and 8 in a number of subject areas. Bringing year 7 into a high school setting will make it easier to deliver these subjects and improve outcomes for students.

Facilities and resources

Access to specialist facilities and resources, and exposure to different teaching styles, will give each year 7 student opportunities for deeper learning, greater peer interactions and greater independence and responsibility.

How the move will work

Our consultation process will help make sure the needs of students, families and the school community are met. It will also ensure that our community and wider stakeholder groups have the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the process.

The move will be coordinated by a statewide plan. Each school will be supported to develop their own individual implementation plans, specific to their needs and the needs of their community.

These plans will be in place by 2021 and will cover areas such as workforce planning, facilities and resource management and parent engagement. For high schools, the plans will outline approaches to learning and teaching, and for ensuring the wellbeing of year 7s.  

Our commitment for moving year 7s to high school is to: 

  • make sure year 7s thrive in a high school setting — academically, socially and emotionally
  • involve our schools in the process to make sure implementation reflects local needs
  • support schools to have the proper resources and the necessary facilities.

Country students

The unique nature of country schools may present some challenges in introducing year 7 to high school that will require special consideration. The government is committed to working closely with each school and their communities to address any of the concerns they may have.

Home-school students

The transition of year 7 into high school will not have any impact on home-schooling arrangements. The current process where a home-schooled student moves from primary school to high school will remain unchanged, but will occur in year 6 instead of year 7.

Students moving from Catholic schools

The Catholic education system is moving year 7 to high school earlier than the government system. Some parents of these students may be concerned that their local public primary schools will not have the space to enrol their child in year 7 for 2020 and 2021.  

Some primary schools in some areas do experience enrolment pressure. However, most students moving from a Catholic primary school to a public primary school will have no issues enrolling at their local (zoned) primary school for the 2020 and 2021 school year.

More information about school and preschool zones can be found here.

Recruitment for pilot-related vacancies

A number of vacancies are being advertised that identify as pilot-related vacancies for the purpose of the year 7 to high school transition in pilot schools starting in 2020. 

Mitcham Girls High School will fill pilot-related vacancies through recruitment and selection processes as usual. 

For pilot-related vacancies at Wirreanda Secondary School and John Pirie Secondary School, the following information should be noted.

Recruitment process

Pilot-related vacancies are being advertised as part of the program piloting the move of year 7s into pilot schools from 2020. This happens in advance of the move of all year 7s into high school in 2022. 

Primary teachers from primary schools involved with the pilot, who meet the criteria of pilot-related vacancies, will be given preference above other candidates in this recruitment process. This will support the prevention of staffing impacts at primary schools as a result of this pilot program.

For roles in John Pirie Secondary School, the relevant primary schools are: 

  • Airdale Primary School
  • Napperby Primary School
  • Port Pirie West Primary School
  • Risdon Park Primary School
  • Solomontown Primary School.

For roles in Wirreanda Secondary School, the relevant primary schools are:

  • Pimpala Primary School
  • Flaxmill Primary School
  • Coorara Primary School
  • Morphett Vale East Primary School
  • Hackham East Primary School
  • Morphett Vale Primary School
  • Christies Beach Primary School
  • Reynella Primary School
  • Braeview Primary School
  • Woodcroft Primary School
  • O’Sullivan Beach Primary School
  • Blackwood Primary School
  • Christie Downs Primary School
  • Christie Downs Primary School Disability Unit
  • Hackham West R-7 School
  • Hallett Cove School
  • Lonsdale Heights School
  • Macclesfield Primary School
  • Moana Primary School
  • Reynella South Primary School.

Support for professional learning

Professional learning will be provided to all primary school teachers moving to pilot-related vacancies. This includes John Pirie Secondary School, Wirreanda Secondary School and Mitcham Girls High School.

An individually negotiated package of professional learning will be provided to primary school teachers moving to year 7 to high school pilot schools, including appropriate release time. This could include the department paying the costs of a formal qualification, online training, mentoring programs and class observations.

Primary school teacher – right of return

Permanent primary school applicants who win such vacancies will have a right of return to their substantive primary school position for the first 12 months of their new appointment.


Year 7 to high school project team

Email: Year7toHS [at] sa.gov.au