QTU President’s comment

All PREPared for a Flying Start to Year 7 in 2015

In a little less than a decade, the Queensland education system has accommodated two dramatic structural changes. In 2007 the Prep year was introduced and in 2015 Year 7 will fully transition to secondary schools. Both changes were introduced by the Bligh Labor government as a part of a genuine vision for education. Both changes have placed significant pressure on school communities, teachers and principals.

The introduction of Prep was the first major change to the structure of education in Queensland since the move of Year 8 to secondary schools in 1964. Student enrolments are currently growing at around 6% across the education system but Prep enrolments are racing ahead with growth at more than 12%. 2014 enrolments stand at 46,719 Prep students.

Primary schools have been buffeted by change associated with the introduction of the Prep year. Changes in the physical facilities in primary schools and the delivery of curriculum to our youngest learners put extra demands on teachers and principals.

The Year 7 transition will see more than 65,000 students, currently in year 6 and 7, move to secondary schools from the beginning of 2015. For the first time secondary schools will cover six year levels, bringing Queensland into line with most other states across Australia in this regard.

The Year 7 transition has required the expenditure of some $350 million on capital works and the employment of more than 1000 new secondary school teachers. This massive undertaking appears, when considered on the basis of the scale of change, to have been managed well by schools, which report that they are largely ready to receive the year 7 class of 2015.

It remains then to thank the primary school teachers and principals whose hard work and dedication has delivered an outstanding preparation for the year 7 class of 2015 and thank the secondary school teachers and principals whose effort has ensured that that class will receive a warm and positive welcome to their secondary education.

Kevin Bates

11 December 2014