Changes would hurt small schools

THE Small School Association of South Australia has doubts about proposed changes to Year 7 if there is a change of government at the upcoming March state election.

The Small School Association of South Australia has doubts about proposed changes to Year 7 if there is a change of government at the upcoming March state election.

The Small School Association of South Australia has doubts about proposed changes to Year 7 if there is a change of government at the upcoming March state election.

The state Liberals have promised to bring South Australia into line with the rest of Australia by moving Year 7 to high school.

Association president and Port Neill Primary School principal Stephen Errock said if the change went ahead, small schools would suffer the most.

"As an association, we're looking for more information to know whether there are any benefits to students.

"We haven't seen any evidence to show that it is the right thing educationally."

Mr Errock said the association was treating the issue as an election promise, and would wait to decide how to progress after the election, but said there had been no consultation with the state's small schools as far as he knew.

"It has the potential to have a significant impact on rural communities.

"Small schools are the hub of our communities."

He said small schools in remote communities would suffer, because the lower enrolment numbers would reduce the resources allocated to schools.

Mr Errock said he understood the logic behind the idea, but that South Australia did not have to follow every other state on every issue.

He also said it might not be as easy as just shifting students to a high school.

"In terms of infrastructure, many high schools are already at capacity.

"You can't move Year 7s into a full school.

"It would require significant infrastructure changes."

The Small Schools Association of South Australia represents 143 schools with 170 students or fewer, predominately in rural and regional areas.

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