High school students in Geraldton have been the subject of a strange experiment over the last decade or so.
There used to be two seperate public high schools in Geraldton, John Willcock and Geraldton Senior College.
The experiment was to send just years 8 and 9 (and later year 7 as well) to John Willcock, and years 10, 11 and 12 to Geraldton Senior.
After all this time, no one seems to have been monitoring the success of the experiment, and today the state government finally announced the experiment was over, starting from 2019.
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The full press release from Ian Blayney's office follows:
Two schools to cater for students from years 7 to 12 from 2019
Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney has welcomed Education Minister Peter Collier’s announcement in relation to the future of John Willcock College and Geraldton Senior College, which will both expand to take students from years 7 to 12 from 2019.
“This is an exciting announcement.
“I’ve listened, the government has listened and the wishes of the community have been met,” said Mr Blayney.
Education Minister Peter Collier said the move followed community consultation last year about public secondary schooling in the key regional centre.
"It was clear parents want a continuous secondary education for their children, rather than having separate middle and senior schools," Mr Collier said.
Under the changes, both colleges will offer a broad curriculum with Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) options and vocational education and training.
About $20 million will be invested in John Willcock College to provide a new arts facility and medical centre, upgrade design and technology facilities, and provide new staff areas, change rooms, toilets and a cafeteria.
A new academic extension program for students from years 7 to 10 will start in 2020.
"The extension program will provide students with a clear direction in their studies as they move into years 11 and 12 and on to university," the Minister said.
At Geraldton Senior College, about $5 million will be spent on specialist facilities, classrooms, an upgraded heritage building, along with the refurbishment of former residential college buildings, change rooms and toilets.
New local intake boundaries for each school have been drafted, to ensure a broad mix of students at both schools.
"Each school will provide a high quality education for a cross section of the Geraldton community," Mr Collier said.
- John Willcock College will employ a co-ordinator for the first three years of the academic extension program
- Each college will be an Independent Public School
- The changes to each school will be in place for the start of 2019