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November 2013



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The South Australian Government has promised to build a second Adelaide High School campus.


It said a city site for a campus for 1,000 students was yet to be chosen but would open in 2019.


The current Royal Adelaide Hospital site might be considered.


Inner suburbs including Bowden, Kurralta Park, Gilberton and Torrensville are to be brought into the Adelaide High School zone when a second campus opens.


Ovingham, Prospect, Fitzroy and Thorngate will become part of the Adelaide High zone sooner, in 2015.


The Government also said it was planning a special education precinct at the University of South Australia’s Magill campus and would talk to Norwood-Morialta High School about moving that school to the precinct.



New teachers will need greater qualifications from 2020 under changes proposed by the South Australian Government.


Education Minister Jennifer Rankine says all new teachers will need to have a two-year Masters degree on top of other qualifications.


Primary or middle-school teachers currently must have a four-year Bachelor degree.


A senior secondary school teacher needs to have a three-year speciality degree such as science and a teaching qualification which can take up to two years.


Ms Rankine said the planned changes would ensure teachers were highly skilled.


“If we want our children to come out of school being the best we have to make sure we have fantastic teachers in our schools, which we do currently, but they need to have the best qualifications that can be provided,” she said.


Premier Jay Weatherill would not be drawn on what the Government might be prepared to pay better-qualified teachers.


“Well these are the discussions we are going to have with the relevant representatives of teachers,” he said.


Mr Weatherill said teachers in countries such as Finland, where high levels of qualification were required, were not paid more than in other countries but had high status within the community “and so the best and brightest are attracted into the teaching profession”.

School with autism focus


South Australia’s first school aimed at children with autism spectrum disorders will open in 2015, backed by funding from Anglicare and the SA Government.


It will cater for 45 students and operate at the campus of the Ashford Special School when it moves to a new site.


The organisation Treetop will run the school.


Chairman John Dagas expects it will grow over time.


“It’ll start off as a R-to-9 initially, at this stage, but then it continue growing as the needs sort of increases and these children grow.” he said.


The Government previously argued against segregating children with autism from regular schools but Premier Jay Weatherill said that had changed.


“We’ve certainly been persuaded that this is the right thing to do, that’s why we’re getting in behind it,” he said.


Opposition education spokesman David Pisoni said he was pleased the Government had taken the idea on board but he thought there should be a larger school.




Dorothy Vasilakis with her autistic son Christiaan Dramisino at Ashford Special School earlier this year. Picture: Calum Robe...

Dorothy Vasilakis with her autistic son Christiaan Dramisino at Ashford Special School earlier this year. Picture: Calum Robertson Source: News Corp Australia


SA gets its first school for autistic students – Treetop Autism Specific School will open for 45 students in Ashford in 2015

  • The Advertiser
  • November 25, 2013 5:42PM


A SCHOOL for students with autism spectrum disorders will open in South Australia in 2015 following a campaign by parents.


Treetop Autism Specific School will cater for 45 students in years reception to nine.


It will be based in Ashford, on the current site of the Ashford special school, which is relocating to Plympton.

The Advertiser has covered the campaign by mother of two Fiora Christou and other parents with autistic children for such a school since last year.


South Australia is the only state without a specialised education facility for students with the developmental disability.


Treetop board chairman John Dagas said students with autism would not spend their entire schooling life there.


Instead, they would “opt in and out” as they needed extra support, before hopefully returning to a mainstream school, he said.


Mr Dagas said 45 places would not be enough to meet demand initially but he hoped that would grow over time.


Ms Christou – whose son Andreas, 11, has autism and attends a special school – said families of about 550 students had indicated they would like their children to attend the school.


“There’s obviously a need for a specialised education service that looks at the child as an individual … and caters for the way that they need to be taught,” she said.


“Within a mainstream school they don’t have the resources, the time nor the money nor the experience in teaching children with autism.


“We just want to give everybody another choice.”


The State Government is providing the school site at low rent and a $100,000 grant to help establish the school.



The Government says construction of the $9.5 million centre is due to be completed “soon”.


It will cater for 105 Reception to Year 12 students with special needs.


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