Year 7 likely to merge
QUEENSLAND schools could soon be following in New South Wales’s footsteps, with speculation about whether Year Seven will move up a class and join their high school peers.
Queensland state school principals have been asked to attend a meeting/conference, being held from February 28 to March 1, to discuss “the future and direction of Queensland education”.
It has fostered rumours as to whether the Bligh Government will announce a re-shuffle of the education years, leading to Year Seven merging with high schools – an announcement the Government postponed last year.
Almost all of the 1237 principals from around Queensland have registered for the conference.
Assumption College principal Peter Moloney said he had not been notified of the meeting, but would “hold still on a couple of things until there’s an announcement made”.
“At the end of the day, you just go with the decision. I know we’re holding some of our decisions until the government makes theirs,” he said.
“As far as I know, the decision to merge Year Seven into high school is to pull Queensland in line with the rest of the country. But it’s going to be an expensive and painful process.”
Mr Moloney said the reasons were financial and resources.
“The numbers are going to increase, and I suspect many schools will need building programs to make that happen. We’ll be very tight for room, and we won’t be able to find another couple of classrooms overnight,” he said.
“The other aspect is the primary schools are going to lose students and funding as well – it will go back to the other end too.
“Primary schools will be forced to run on smaller budgets, and many teachers will have to go from a primary to a secondary school culture. It’s just massive.”
Asked what time he envisioned a possible amalgamation, Mr Moloney said 2014.
“If I had to pick a figure, that’s what it would be. I think that’s when the changes implemented for prep students start to come through our system,” he said.
Education Minister Geoff Wilson said an announcement on a possible merger would be made soon.