Education experts at Griffith University are playing a key role in the transition of Queensland’s Year 7’s to high school in 2015.

Led by School of Education and Professional Studies Head Professor Donna Pendergast, the Griffith academics are working with the state government to develop and implement the program — Leading Change in Junior Secondary.

The program helps state high school leadership teams lead effective change processes in preparation for the transition of Year 7 toJuniorSecondary and revitalising teaching and learning in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Part of the Flying Startinitiative for Queensland Children, “the focus on improved learning in Years 7, 8 and 9 will have a major impact on state schooling for the future, and provide the opportunity to ensure all Queensland children have access to, and receive a quality education,’’ Professor Pendergast said.

One of the most significant of these reforms is the transition of Year 7 to high school in all Queensland schools in 2015 and the introduction ofJuniorSecondary(Years 8 and 9) in statesecondaryschools from 2013.

Year 7 will joinJuniorSecondarywhen it transitions in 2015.

“The transition recognises that following the successful introduction of a Prep year in 2007 and increasing the school starting age by six months, in 2015 more than half the children in Year 7 will turn 13 and will be in their eighth year of school.

“Educators agree that young teenagers are ready for greater independence and the depth of learning that high school provides, which is why in most other states and territories across Australia, Year 7 is already the first year of high school.”

Year 7 students at high school will benefit from access to specialist resources, such as science labs and science teachers.

“Moving Year 7 to high school will also allow Queensland students to take advantage of the Australian Curriculum which was introduced to Queensland schools beginning in 2012,’’ Professor Pendergast said.

“The program reforms focus on getting ready for school, getting ready for high school and boosting the performance of all schools.”

A team from the School of Education and Professional Studies has also developed and is in the process of delivering online modules to assist Junior Secondary Education teachers in managing the transition from Year 7 to high school.

Both projects will be complete by late 2014.