This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 25 June 2019 to 13 September 2019. Below is a record of this engagement.
*If you would prefer to submit a hardcopy, download the Year 7 to High School Regional Consultation form
Year 7 to High School Regional Consultation
Drawing on interstate experience, we are testing 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 its nearest area or high school, for a transitional period of 3 years.
The Government is committed to providing all year 7 students with the benefits of the move of Year 7 to High School, however this approach will support those parents concerned about the increased travel distance for younger students to their schooling.
Under the proposed approach, some regional primary schools would continue to offer year 7, while all regional high schools would introduce year 7 (so that year 7 is offered concurrently in both settings).
This option would be made available to families for a limited period of 3 years (2022 to 2024) in order to smooth the system changeover.
The proposed distance of 20 kilometres by road from their nearest area or high school (approximated as 15 minute travel time) responds to the particular issues of travel time for younger students, as well as concerns for the impact on smaller primary schools in more removed communities.
Is 20 kilometres the appropriate distance to consider?
In Western Australia, the transition period was extended for some families, for a limited 3-year period.
Should a similar choice be offered in South Australia, is the 3-year period an appropriate length of time?
A key challenge with the proposed approach is the associated planning uncertainty for primary and high schools. It is expected that planning decisions relating to staffing, budget and curriculum planning could be made more difficult due to the changeable nature of enrolments under this approach (as it is not possible to forecast parents’ decisions).
What are the challenges or opportunities you anticipate in the introduction of Year 7 to high school in the regional setting?
Existing supports for small schools and country staff are outlined below.
Small school funding
The existing small school funding structures will provide a safety net for those small schools that will lose students as a result of the move of year 7 to high school. The funding allows small schools the flexibility to ‘top up’ in areas that may be impacted by reduced enrolments (such as reduced funding for support staff).
Country incentives can apply to staff employed by schools in country locations, to support country schools in attracting staff.
What support measures do you propose?
Given the option, would you keep your year 7 child in the primary school setting? What factors are important to you in making this decision?
Consultation has concluded