Year 7 Into High School

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will initiate the transition of Year 7 from primary school into high school.

The Problem

We believe students’ educational outcomes should be the prime focus of our school system.

There is no second opportunity when it comes to educating our young people.

We need a system that encourages excellence from a child’s very first day of school.

But under the Weatherill Labor Government, South Australia continues to fall behind.

The 2016 NAPLAN results put South Australia at lowest or second lowest of all states in 18 out of 20 categories while the latest Program for International Student Assessment results also show South Australia’s education system continues to lag behind at a time when Australia is declining internationally as well.

One reason is that South Australia is the only Australian jurisdiction that still has Year 7 in primary school with no plans for a transition to high school.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will initiate the transition of Year 7 from primary school into high school.

Moving Year 7 to high school would enable schools to have fully developed middle school programs. Research shows this is beneficial for students in the year 7-9 age groups.

The national curriculum to which South Australia is a signatory, has a focus on specialist maths, science and English teaching for Year 7 students.

The curriculum’s authors presume that these subjects will be taught by specialist teachers such as are found in a high school setting.

Keeping Year 7s at the primary level means they are studying a high school curriculum in primary school classrooms and missing out on specialist tuition.

Moving Year 7 students into high school would ensure that our students are not left behind their counterparts in other states. Interstate experience shows that Year 7s thrive in a high school setting.

The move is supported by the South Australian Secondary Principals’ Association while the Catholic school system in South Australia is already transitioning its schools to have Year 7 in high school from 2019.