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    Minister for Education and the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Queensland's first 'Smart State Academy' for Toowong

    Minister for Education and the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Queensland's first 'Smart State Academy' for Toowong

    The Queensland Government today announced the first of its two new 'Smart State Academies' would be established at Toowong in Brisbane's inner west.

    Education Minister, Rod Welford, said the 'Smart State Academies' would underpin a new era in state education, boosting opportunities for Queensland's brightest students.

    "Our first 'Smart State Academy' will focus on maths, science and technology for Year 10, 11 and 12 students and be established at Toowong College from 2007," Mr Welford said.

    "We have chosen the Toowong College site to capitalise on its close educational and geographic links with the University of Queensland.

    "This 'Smart State Academy' will accelerate learning opportunities for our best and brightest students and provide a pathway for their future careers.

    "These students will become our scientists, mathematicians and technicians of the future."

    Mr Welford said the 2007 starting date was chosen to allow time for the Academy to gear up and to provide sufficient transition time for existing students and their families.

    "There are currently some 223 students in Years 8 to 12 and a further 70 undertaking adult education at Toowong College," he said.

    "Students in years 10, 11 and 12 will be able to complete their schooling at Toowong College with no impact on their curriculum choices.

    "Years 8 and 9 students will be able to continue through to the end of Year 10.

    "Whilst the current Year 10 students can stay on and finish their schooling through to Year 12 at the College, we will offer immediate support to them if they would prefer to start their Year 11 senior studies at a new school.

    "For the Year 8 and 9 students, Education Queensland will provide a package of assistance for students and their families.

    "This includes discussions with guidance counsellors about options, advice about transport, and financial support to purchase replacement uniforms.

    "There will be no new enrolments taken at Toowong College from today.

    "I would welcome applications by any of the existing Year 8 and 9 students to become our first enrolments at the new 'Smart State Academy' in 2007.

    "Entry will be based on academic merit and will enable students to fast track their studies, gain invaluable work experience and combine their schooling with tertiary studies.

    "Partnerships with universities and industry will generate exciting opportunities for students to extend their education."

    From 2007, the Academy will open its doors for Year 10 and 11 students and in 2008, for Year 12 students.

    Mr Welford said there would be opportunities for College staff to become part of the new Smart State Academy.

    "This is a very large undertaking by the State Government and we understand staff and families of existing students will have many questions," he said.

    "I have asked Education Queensland to do everything they can to provide detailed information and assist where passible."

    The State Government has committed $46 million over four years to establish two new Smart State Academies, as part of the second phase of the Smart State strategy.

    Media Contact: Greg Milne on 32354593 or 0417791336