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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Five more schools to pilot Year 7 in high school


    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Five more schools to pilot Year 7 in high school

    The Queensland Government’s progressive plan for Year 7 to join high school took another step forward today, with five more pilot schools named.

    Premier Anna Bligh said the five schools would join the new Murrumba State Secondary College and start trialling Year 7 in high school before 2015.

    She said the five state high schools had applied to be part of the pilot program, which would involve up to 20 schools.

    “Expressions of interest for the Year 7 pilot program opened last month and a total of 59 state high schools responded,” Ms Bligh said.

    “From those applicants, five schools have been identified as front-runners to join the pilot program.

    “Consultation is still continuing with these schools, and with the other applicants, but the selection of these schools, which will pilot year 7 from 2013, shows that this major reform is continuing at pace.”

    Ms Bligh announced last month that the new high school at Murrumba Downs, which will be called Murrumba State Secondary College, as the first high school in Queensland to pilot Year 7.

    She said she was pleased to announce today a further five schools to take part in the pilot program:

    • Springfield Central State High School, Ipswich
    • Varsity State College, Gold Coast
    • Crows Nest State School, Darling Downs
    • Glenmore High School, Rockhampton
    • The new high school planned at Eimeo Road, Mackay

    “These schools will play a vital role in trialling the transition of Year 7 students into high school,” Ms Bligh said.

    “Their experiences will provide valuable input into the broader implementation plans that will be developed for the full transfer in 2015.”

    Ms Bligh said the other pilot Year 7 high schools were expected to be finalised after the September school holidays, with most pilot schools expected to take Year 7 from 2013.

    “The transition of Year 7 to high school is another significant step in the ongoing transformation of Queensland’s education system.

    “In the past decade, the Queensland Government has implemented an educational reform program that is giving our children the best possible chance of success in life by providing a strong education.

    Among these reforms, Queensland has:

    • Introduced nation-leading ‘learning or earning’ changes, which lifted the school leaving age to 16 and required young people to “learn or earn’ for another year
    • Introduced full-time Prep, providing Queensland children with an extra year of formal education
    • Raised the school starting age for Year 1 – meaning students on average are six months older when they start school and bringing Queensland into closer alignment with other states and territories
    • Overhauled the laws that govern school operations and teacher registration, raising the quality of the teaching profession and recognising prior qualifications to bring more expert teachers into the classroom
    • Provided every full-time teacher with a laptop computer under the $70 million Computers for Teachers program
    • Implemented the landmark, five-year $850 million State Schools of Tomorrow building program, the biggest capital works initiative for schools in Queensland’s history
    • Introduced the new Queensland Certificate of Education, recognising a broader range of learning achievements, including learning from schools, TAFE, private training providers, universities, workplaces and community organisations.
    • Opened specialist academies to give some of the state’s brightest students the opportunities to excel in science, maths, technology, health sciences and the creative arts.
    • Started the roll-out of up to 240 new kindergartens as part of a $321 million initiative to provide Queensland children with universal access to quality kindy programs.

    Ms Bligh said the transition of Year 7 to high school was part of the government’s Flying Start initiative, which has been backed by a substantial funding commitment.

    “The State Government has allocated $622 million over the budget forward estimates to implement the Flying Start initiatives,” she said.

    “By moving Year 7 to high school, we will further strengthen Queensland’s education system.

    “From 2015, more than half of students in Year 7 will turn 13 and Year 7 will be the eighth year of schooling.

    “Being in high school will also give Year 7 students access to the same learning opportunities as their interstate counterparts through specialist teachers and facilities such as science labs.”

    MEDIA CONTACT: Education Minister - 07 3237 1000
    Premier 07 3224 4500