Extracted from Hansard - House of Assembly 4 March 2021

I rise in support of the Public Works Committee report. I welcome the $23 million investment for the expansion of Adelaide High School to allow the year 7s to attend high school. We know that as part of the national curriculum throughout Australia we are the last state to follow, to have year 7 going into high school.

Personally, as a young person born in Melbourne in Victoria, coming to South Australia in year 9 was a great disadvantage, because in Victoria year 7 was already part of high school. In any of the subjects where the texts were in form 1, form 2, form 3, I was repeating when I came to South Australia, whereas the subjects that were taught in year levels—years 7, 8 or 9—were equivalent. It was very difficult.

We know that in Australia we have a transient population that does move from state to state. I welcome that for the first time we have net migration into South Australia, which is something to be celebrated. More people are moving to South Australia because of our wonderful handling of the COVID pandemic and the opportunities that exist in our state. However, it has been a long time coming that we should standardise our education system in line with the national curriculum, so that specialist teachers are available in the high school years from year 7, to teach maths and science in particular—but all the subjects are very important.

Adelaide High School is not only a very popular school but a very high performing school, and it is a very highly sought after school to gain access to. I also welcome our government's push— when in opposition as well—for the residents of Prospect to be part of the zone and to have a second high school, which we now have, and a shared zone. It is still incredibly popular, and there are a lot more families moving into the Adelaide electorate and the zones that make up both Botanic High and Adelaide High School.

This will be a wonderful addition. As we have just heard, there will be a new Hive building to provide general learning areas, flexible specialist learning areas, teacher preparation, storage, amenities, canteen, cafe and outdoor learning areas. It is something to be welcomed and applauded, and I am really pleased with this $23 million investment to expand Adelaide High School so that year 7 can start in 2022.