Creating A Problem That Did Not Exist

Creating A Problem That Did Not Exist

Queensland Shadow Minister for Education & Training Bruce Flegg

Quick Change To Year 7 Full Of Problems For Regional Qld

Victor P Taffa

State Labor’s Plan for an overnight state-wide shift of Year 7 from Primary to High School was chock full of problems for rural and regional communities, the Liberal National Party (LNP) warned today.

Shadow Minister for Education and Training Bruce Flegg said moving all Year 7 students to high school in 2014 or even 2015 would be particularly difficult for Rural Queensland.

“Hundreds of small communities only have a primary school so the change will mean sending children away to regional high schools and boarding schools earlier and longer.” Dr. Flegg said.



“The other big issue is that these small schools will lose students and their longer-term viability could well be threatened.”

Dr. Flegg said the change would affect hundreds of small communities enormously.

“It’s not just about changing from one class room to another. It’s about parents in remote areas having to send their children away a year earlier to boarding school, for six years instead of five, so there are significant extra costs involved.”

“Hundreds of smaller communities may see the viability of their primary school threatened when they lose as many as 20 % of their students going from P-7 to P-6.”

Dr. Flegg said the transition was far less an issue in the cities where P-12 colleges and private schools already had ‘middle schools’.

“For these larger schools it won’t be an issue, but in Rural and Regional Queensland the transition needs to be handled very carefully.”

Dr. Flegg said the LNP was committed to working closely with local communities to stagger the changes and would work very closely with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) the body responsible for developing a national curriculum from kindergarten to Year 12.

“The LNP would work with ACARA to ensure that Queensland students that remained in Year 7 at Primary Schools during the transition would not be disadvantaged academically.”

Dr. Flegg said more than 50,000 Queensland students and 1,800 Year 7 teachers would be affected by the move of Y7 to High School.

“While the move may be seen as inevitable under the National Curriculum, it should not be rushed and where necessary, staggered, and in full consultation with local communities.”

“The important thing is that this step should not be taken without consultation with local communities.” Dr. Flegg said.