Stop the move of Year 7 to High School in SA

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Dear Mr Gardner

I have strong concerns with the SA Government's plans to move year seven to high school within the next four years.

I have two daughters, a nine year old, currently in year four and an eleven month old. I also have a thirteen year old step-daughter who started high school in year eight this year and a twelve year old step-son who will be starting high school as a year eight next year.

My currently nine year old daughter started school in 2014 when she was four years old as her birthday is in March. This was due to the South Australian Government  deciding to introduce one primary school intake starting that year to be "in line with other states".

This was not beneficial to my daughter. Due to limited notice of the change she only attended three terms of pre-school before commencing primary school. I see now that she was not quite mature enough and likely would have benefited waiting an extra year before starting. Due to this change, the majority of children born before May 1st each year will be commencing primary school at age four.

If year seven moves to high school she and the children like her with birthdays before May 1st will be eleven years old when starting at high school.

This is ludicrous.

I don't know if you recall the transition to high school, but even as a thirteen year old it was an intimidating experience for me to be mingling with the older kids at high school, the change in structure and the increased importance of grades and scores. I can't imagine what this would be like at eleven years old.

Your policy plan states that research shows that children benefit from a middle years program. Will you be investing in creating seperate middle school campuses for year seven to nine students?

I honestly cannot fathom why your Government believes that having eleven and twelve year old children move into a teenage environment would be beneficial? Why would we wish to end childhood early. How is this beneficial to a child's development?

This is not about what is best for a child's development; this is about feeling embarrassed that South Australia is "backward" since we are not "in line with other states" with the year that high school begins.

Why not invest the significant amount of tax payer funding that would be required to facilitate this move in buildings and logistics into funding to improve the educational and social developmental outcomes for year seven students in their current location in primary schools.

To undetake such a massive change without consultation with parents who's children will be affected by this change is arrogant and I am absolutely outraged at the lack of consultation with parents.

I would like this plan to move year seven to high school abandoned.

Victoria Allan-Mead 

A parent who's children will be affected by this proposed change



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