Starting high school

Your local school can work with you to help your child as they transition into high school.

Going to high school can seem overwhelming for all students, but there are great support options available to help your child make the transition.

Like primary schools, every high school has a learning and support team who work with class teachers to meet student’s learning and support needs.

Before leaving primary school


High schools are different from primary schools, and you can talk to your child about what this new experience will be like. For example:

  • classes are organised differently
  • there are more subjects
  • schools are often larger.

The learning and support team at your child’s primary school will be a great source of information. They can work with you to prepare your child, and help you connect with and talk to the learning and support team at your child’s new high school.

Try to begin the planning early in the year before your child will start high school, and even up to two years before they begin if your child could need help with access (for example, modifications for wheelchair access).

Access requests

If your child is placed in a support class in primary school, your local primary school will typically need to submit an access request on your child’s behalf when your child is in Year 5 for a placement in a support class in high school.

However, this is only necessary if your child is changing schools - if your child is attending a central or community school or a School for Specific Purposes, and you plan to continue their education there, then no access request is needed.

Three teenage boys and a female teacher working on a craft activity.
Image: Like primary schools, every high school has a learning and support team who work with class teachers to meet student’s learning and support needs.


Managing the transition to high school


Contacting your child’s local high school principal or learning and support team early gives the school time to properly prepare to provide a great education for your child.

If your child needs support with physical access then getting in touch early is even more important.

You can ask about:

  • The best educational options for your child.
  • Any adjustments they need at school to enable learning. This includes access to technology, large print, visual supports or building modifications.
  • The right people to contact at the school for different things.
  • How to prepare a timeline for your child’s transition.
  • Other types of advice or support your family needs.

If your child has an NDIS plan, you may wish to let the school know about NDIS supports your child is receiving if you believe this will assist the school to plan for your child's adjustments.

Enrolment


Enrolment arrangements for high school for your child is the same as for all students. More information is available on high school enrolment.


Video: Michael's story

7:58 mins

Meet Michael and hear about his experiences at high school, where has has an active voice in his support journey
Return to top of page Back to top