Year 7 petition hits Parliament

26 May, 2013 02:00 AM
Gemma Dunne, Beacon.
Gemma Dunne, Beacon.

FRUSTRATED country parents converged on Parliament today to call for changes in the Year Seven policy.

In 2011 the State Government announced the compulsory transition from Year 7 to high school but more than 4000 parents across the State have signed a petition opposing the move.

The petition will be tabled in Parliament today by Labor Member for Agriculture MLC Darren West.

Mr West said he would be calling on the Education Minister Peter Collier and the Premier Colin Barnett to consider reviewing the policy.

"I will be trying to convince them that this policy should be reviewed to have exceptions on a school-by-school basis, rather than student-by-student," he said.

The transition is to be implemented in 2015 but special provisions had been given to some children in rural and remote areas.

Those provisions would be offered until 2018 and were only available to individual families, not entire schools.

Mr West said it would be more beneficial to 'tool up' the schools to be able to deal with the Year 7 national curriculum, rather than allow for specific students to remain in their primary school.

He said in terms of resourcing from the Education Department, to go on an entire school basis was nothing, but the impact on the community would be significant.

"I am hoping to convince the Minister and the Premier that they have got this part of the transition wrong," Mr West said.

Mr West was extremely impressed with the response to the petition and said it was clearly a significant issue for families in the bush.

The petition had been put together by Andrew and Gemma Dunne, Beacon, earlier this year and was sent out to schools and communities right across the State.

Ms Dunne said she had been overwhelmed with support.

"It has been wonderful, we have signatures from Broome right down to Esperance," she said.

"Every country family we have spoken to do not want this move to be compulsory and no one wants to be forced to send their kids away in Year 7."



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