Our schools are ready for Year 7

From 2015 Year 7 will become the first year of high school in Queensland.

To ensure a smooth transition of Year 7 to high school, the Queensland Government has planned a comprehensive package of measures, backed by significant financial resources for state, Catholic and independent schools.

The government has invested up to $328 million in upgrading facilities in state secondary schools in preparation for the move of Year 7 and has provided a further $110 million to Catholic and independent schools. This investment will ensure appropriate classrooms and facilities are in place to give students the best learning and engagement outcomes.

Twenty state schools began moving Year 7 to high school from 2012. The insights from this pilot program have been shared with all high schools to help them prepare for next year.

Read more about what's happening in the lead up to the school year in 2015:

Caring for our teenagers in the early years of high school

Moving Year 7 to high school is part of wider improvements to our education system.

From 2013, Years 8 and 9 became Junior Secondary in all state schools, with Year 7 joining the Junior Secondary years in 2015. We will strengthen support for students in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Catholic and independent schools will also ensure Year 7 students moving to high school are well supported.

There will be a strong emphasis on pastoral care for our students, and parents will be encouraged to become even more involved in their children's schooling in the high school years.

Infrastructure support for state schools

To accommodate Year 7 students in state high schools in 2015, around 363 infrastructure projects will be delivered at 288 state schools across Queensland. This includes building more than 600 new classrooms and the refurbishment of more than 1100 other classrooms.

Infrastructure support for schools was determined on an as-needs basis following engagement with each school and its regional office. Generally the need was based on the projected 2015 enrolment numbers. Infrastructure support included:

  • refurbishments of general learning areas
  • new general learning areas
  • flexible learning areas delivered as new builds or through the refurbishment of existing facilities
  • school resource grants
  • other facilities such as amenities required in accordance with the Building Code of Australia.

Teacher recruitment

Moving Year 7 to high school is a significant change that will also provide Queensland teachers with new career and employment pathways from 2015.

Up to 1300 additional teachers will be employed in state secondary schools across Queensland to support students commencing Junior Secondary. The department is recruiting experienced primary, preservice and other successful teacher applicants with the skills, capabilities and attributes to support young adolescents during a time of rapid physical, emotional, intellectual and social change.

State school teachers will be supported through comprehensive professional development and scholarship programs. Extra funding that Catholic and independent schools will receive may also be used for teacher professional development.

Read more about teaching in the Junior Secondary years.

Students in rural and remote communities

Students in Queensland's rural and remote communities deserve the very best educational opportunities we can provide.

When Year 7 becomes part of high school in 2015 we will ensure all our students are supported as we make this important change. The government is committed to addressing the particular needs of students living in geographically isolated areas.

We recognise the changes which come into effect in 2015 will have an impact on rural and remote families. Parents will need to consider what is best for their student's high school education in Year 7, as opposed to Year 8.

Where there is no local school close by, geographically isolated families may opt for their students to attend boarding school, live with a relative closer to a school, live in a student hostel, or use distance education.

The readiness of students for a move away from home, family circumstances and the costs associated with boarding fees and travel, are all important considerations.

In order to assist families in rural and remote locations, we will do the following:

  • Increase the Living Away From Home Allowance for eligible Year 7 students to the secondary student rate
  • By 2015, offer Year 7 as the first year of high school for all state schools providing distance education
  • Provide increased e-learning options for state schools to offer students whose parents decide to send them to schools closer to home
  • Review the educational needs of geographically isolated families and the services available to them.

Parents and carers of students living in isolated areas may also be eligible for financial assistance from the Federal Government.

For further information, please read the factsheet (PDF, 204KB) (accessible version [DOC, 27KB])

Need more information?

If you're after more information about the transition to high school, check out the resources section which features videos, fact sheets and useful information about making the most of high school life.

Alternatively, you can contact your local school or contact the department if your query relates to state schools. Further information about the move of Year 7 in independent and Catholic schools can be found on their respective websites.​