About 400 Year 7s are expected to enrol at Kent Street Senior High School, Como Secondary College and Belmont City College from local feeder primary schools for the start of the 2015 school year.
Education department statewide planning and delivery executive director Lindsay Hale said under-used classrooms at Kent Street SHS would be refurbished to create additional classrooms and ramps for disabled access at an estimated cost of more than $445,000.
Mr Hale said the department, primary and high schools were all helping prepare for the transition of Year 7s to secondary school. ‘The move will give Year 7s access to specialist subject teaching and facilities needed for the new Australian curriculum,’ Mr Hale said.
‘There will be a need for additional secondary school teachers especially in the areas of mathematics, science and design and technology.’
An independent report by the Auditor General said public secondary schools would need to employ about 1000 extra teachers to cater for the student influx.
More than $22 million has been invested in teacher training through the Switch program so primary school teachers can qualify to teach in secondary schools, with nearly 900 teachers expressing an interest and more than 370 teachers completing graduate certificate courses by the end of the year.
Some teachers have also been invited to complete short courses such as primary physical education teachers getting hands-on experiences teaching secondary physical education.
Mr Hale said primary schools were providing school camps, extra leadership and mentoring roles for Year 6 and 7 students, to prepare them for secondary school.
Secondary schools were also refining their plans to welcome the students by finalising timetables, holding information sessions and offering open days where new students can get a taste of secondary school life.
‘We are constantly monitoring projected student enrolment numbers to make sure schools have the capacity to accommodate Year 7 students next year,’ Mr Hale said.