SA Liberals push for Grade 7 upgrade
South Australia’s Opposition says that state’s year 7 students are being “robbed of specialist education” by being kept in primary school.
The SA Liberals have again called for South Australia to move year 7 students into high schools in line with the rest of the nation.
The push for system-wide change comes off the back of a South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools plan to shift year 7 students to secondary campuses.
The Catholic schools say it is just a proposal for now, and they are working on the finer details of finance and logistics ahead of any change.
But state-wide, Opposition education spokesman David Pisoni says the current school funding arrangements are short-changing Year 7s.
“Not only is the Labor Government's stance on keeping Grade 7s in primary school delivering less specialist education in Grade 7, but it's also robbing grade 7 students of smaller class sizes and more funding,” Mr Pisoni todl the ABC.
“The Catholics have estimated that their move into Year 7 will bring an extra $7.4 million or $2,000 per student from the Federal Government into South Australia.
“It's extraordinary that that opportunity is not being followed up by the State Government here in South Australia.”
SA Education Minister Susan Close said the national curriculum was designed for Year 7 to be taught in either primary school or high school.
“Given that the curriculum is designed for year 7 to equally be in primary school, it is extremely unfair of the Federal Government not to give us the same amount of money for year 7s as they give the other states,” Ms Close said in response.
“There's one national curriculum, we teach to [and] year 7 is designed to be taught in primary school just as much as in high school and if the Federal Government chooses not to give us as much money then shame on them.”
“The move from primary school to secondary school is a pretty big transition and part of this is about the question of what age it's appropriate to do that.
“Because we have a single national curriculum that we are teaching to, Year 7s in primary school are not being disadvantaged.
“They are receiving the same education, they are receiving the same quality of information.
“We've now moved to single entry for receptions, which means some students are starting just below the age of five.
“As those kids come through they will be slightly younger than the year 7s are today, and I think that further reinforces the argument that they deserve to stay in primary school for another year.”