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Countdown to Start of 2017 School Year

20 January 2017

Queensland’s more than 200 independent schools are preparing to welcome about 120,000 new and returning students for the start of the 2017 school year.

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said among them would be an estimated 7,400 first-time school-goers starting Prep, more than 11,200 Year 7 students entering high school and about 1,900 international students.

“When schools return, about 4,000 boarders are expected to bring not only their school books, but also their pillows and clothes, when they make independent schools their home-away-from-home in 2017,” Mr Robertson said.

“It’s also a milestone year for nine (9) new independent schools and campuses which have been approved to operate.” 

Mr Robertson wished independent school staff, students, and families all the best for a successful year.

“Launching into a new school year is always a hectic time for schools, students and their parents and carers. New students have to adjust to new environments, teachers and make new friends, while all students and families have to re-establish routines,” he said.

Mr Robertson said 2017 would be a critical year for education with school funding set to dominate the political agenda in the early part of the year.

“The Australian Government has committed to finalising in early 2017 a new federal funding model for Australian schools which will take effect from 2018. Independent schools and the families they serve need certainty about what level of government support they will be receiving as well as sufficient time to respond to and plan for any changes.”

Mr Robertson said despite the funding uncertainty, independent schools were getting on with the business of education and were preparing for significant reforms, such as NAPLAN transitioning to an online test from this year.

“Other changes in 2017 include, Prep becoming the first year of compulsory schooling in Queensland and mandatory reporting of child physical or sexual abuse extending to early childhood education and care workers from 1 July. Significant work will also continue this year on preparing for major changes to the state’s senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems which will commence with Year 11s in 2019. This includes ongoing redevelopment of senior syllabuses and external assessment trials in selected subjects in Term 2,” he said.

Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network Executive Officer Sue Kloeden wished independent school families a happy and productive 2017 as they worked in partnership with their children’s schools.

Ms Kloeden said parents could have a profound influence on their child’s achievement at school.

“More than 40 years of research has shown that students perform better academically and are more socially and emotionally confident when their parents are engaged in their learning. This means they have high, but realistic, expectations for their child, read with them, support good study habits, create a stimulating home environment, make connections between their classroom learning and home, and value the importance of education,” she said.

The majority of Queensland schools will start the new school year in the week beginning January 23. However, some independent schools may have different start dates. Parents should check commencement dates with their individual schools.

Media contact: Justine Nolan M: 0428 612 315 E: jnolan@isq.qld.edu.au

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