Shalom College principal Dan McMahon cautiously welcomes year 7 into secondary education.Photo: Max Fleet sec2201a
Shalom College principal Dan McMahon cautiously welcomes year 7 into secondary education.Photo: Max Fleet sec2201a

High school to start at Year 7?

A MASSIVE overhaul of the way Year 7 operates in Queensland is being considered by the state government in what could be positive move for children in the Bundaberg region.

Shalom College principal Dan McMahon said he thought moves to integrate Year 7 into high schools would be a “natural progression”.

“I’m not frightened by that as a prospect. It would logical in the sense that it would be in line with other states,” he said.

But Mr McMahon did warn the move could not happen overnight.

“It would be a very expensive thing to do. We would need at least a couple of years to prepare,” he said.

Mr McMahon said many secondary schools would have to build new classrooms to accommodate the influx of extra students.

St Luke’s Anglican School head of middle school curriculum Nick Johnstone said their Year 7 students had been classed as a part of the high school since 2000.

“The Year 7 students tend to feel more mature and have fewer behavioural issues, and we have fewer teething problems starting them early,” he said.

Mr Johnstone welcomed the state government’s push for a debate about making Year 7 a part of high school.

“I’m surprised other schools haven’t gone that way,” he said.

Queensland Teachers’ Union Wide Bay organiser Greg Purches said the move did not make any sense.

“There are too many high schools with no spare space, so I don’t know where the kids would go and there would be a huge drain of resources,” he said.

Acting premier Andrew Fraser said the debate whether Year 7 should be moved to high school should start ahead of the introduction of a national curriculum in a few years.

“This is a matter which should be in the public arena at the start of this year and make sure that the decision gets made this year so that we can plan for the future,” Mr Fraser said.



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