Chief Finance Officer’s report


The department is building Queensland’s future by giving all children a great start, engaging young people in learning, and creating safe, fair and productive workplaces and communities.

In 2019–20, the department achieved an operating surplus of $1.314 million against a total departmental controlled budget of $9.954 billion. Key investments included the continued implementation of the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems for students entering Year 11 from 2019, delivering on the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program to address the energy needs of the expanded fleet of air conditioners in state schools, as well as investments under the Building Future Schools Fund to address enrolment growth pressures in state schools and the need for additional state schools across Queensland.

The department’s material financial statement balances reflect our large school land and buildings portfolio across 1,249 schools, and the salaries of over 70,000 school, regional and central office staff. Supplies and services are dominated by curriculum resources, school utility costs, and the maintenance and upkeep of our large asset base, including operational contract costs.

The COVID–19 pandemic has not materially impacted the department’s financial results. However, the department has experienced limited reduction in revenues relating to Education International and local school activities such as excursions and rent waivers. There have also been limited reductions in costs in certain areas such as travel, although these cost reductions were offset by additional costs in areas such as extra cleaning and information communication technology.

In accordance with the requirements of section 77(2) (b) of the Financial Accountability Act 2009, I have provided the Director-General with a statement that the financial internal controls of the department are operating efficiently, effectively and economically in conformance with section 54 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019. As Chief Finance Officer, I have therefore fulfilled the minimum responsibilities as required by section 77(1) (b) of the Financial Accountability Act 2009.

Alison Mohr
A/Assistant Director-General, Finance
Chief Finance Officer

Financial snapshot

Financial snapshot











Controlled revenue
Departmental services revenue8,350,3908,780,0988,788,3898,743,277​9,416,379
Other revenues
Controlled expenses8,873,6579,326,7209,355,3159,390,372​10,057,156
Operating surplus/deficit36,54128,81756,75946,823​1,314
Administered grants (state)851,555848,821875,602878,917​917,746
Capital outlays420,454582,017609,490932,954​1,158,950
Total assets19,217,75220,338,60119,600,36121,141,882​22,496,467
Total liabilities
Net assets/liabilities18,175,95519,132,19218,698,52420,082,120​21,498,332
2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–192019–20
Employee expenses ($000)5,931,0876,248,6896,600,8507,031,481​7,603,666
Number of employees at 30 June (FTE)68,10369,35672,34173,741​73,971

Note: due to machinery-of-government changes, Training and Skills functions transferred to the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training effective 1 January 2018, and Industrial Relations was transferred in to the department from Queensland Treasury.

Source: Department of Education

For a comprehensive set of financial statements covering all aspects of the department’s activities, see the financial statements section of this annual report. No totals have been adjusted for commercial-in-confidence requirements.


Our income—where the funds come from

We received $10.058 billion for our operations, an increase of $621 million from last year.

Departmental services revenue increased by $673 million. This was largely due to additional funding for state school enrolment growth, enterprise bargaining and increased Australian Government funding under the National Education Reforms—Students First program and associated Bilateral Agreement.

The department also received $4.069 billion in administered funding, an increase of $425 million from 2018–19. Administered funding includes Commonwealth funding transfers to non-government schools, as well as State grants to statutory authorities, peak bodies for non-state schools, and other entities, enabling them to deliver agreed services to Queenslanders.


Figure 1: Income, 2019–20

Infographic Income 2019-20

  • Appropriation revenure = 93.60%
  • User charges and fees = 3.90%
  • Grant's and other contributions = 2.00%
  • Other revenues = 0.40%
  • Interest = 0.10%
  • Total = 100%

Note: Income, 2019–20 is subject to rounding. Source: Department of Education.

Our expenses—how the funds are spent

The department’s total controlled expenses for 2019–20 were $10.057 billion, an increase of $667 million from last year. Salaries and wages remain the agency’s major expense component at 76% of total expenses. This is in line with the agency’s commitment to improve student outcomes by supporting teachers to focus on student needs through providing more teachers in schools.


Figure 2: Expenses, 2019–20

Infographic Expenses 2019-20/p>

  • Employee expenses = 75.60%
  • Supplies and services = 15.00%
  • Depreciation and amortisation = 5.30%
  • Grant's and subsides = 3.10%
  • Other expenses = 0.80%
  • Finance/borrowing costs = 0.20%
  • Total = 100%

Source: Department of Education


Figure 3: Average cost per student in state schools, 2019–20

Students with disability:

  • 2015-16: $2,920
  • 2016-17: $28,723
  • 2017-18: $29,073
  • 2018-19: $29,244
  • 2019-20: $31,824


  • 2015-16: $13,370
  • 2016-17: $13,599
  • 2017-18: $14,463
  • 2018-19: $14,772
  • 2019-20: $15,303

Prep and primary (to Year 6 from 2015):

  • 2015-16: $12,111
  • 2016-17: $12,672
  • 2017-18: $13,385
  • 2018-19: $13,805
  • 2019-20: $14,388

Source: Department of Education

Our assets—what we own

The department held assets totalling $22.496 billion at 30 June 2020, an increase of $1.355 billion from 2018–19.

The majority of our assets are in land and buildings. Property, plant and equipment increased by $1.421 billion, mainly due to capital works including for the Building Future Schools program, and asset revaluations.

There was a decrease in the department’s cash position mainly due to timing of payments for capital works and payroll, and decreases in school bank accounts.


igure 4: Value of property, plant and equipment

  • 2015-2016 the value is between 18-19 million dollars
  • 2016-2017 the value is between 19-20 million dollars
  • 2017-2018 the value is between 18-19 million dollars
  • 2018-2019 the value is between 19-20 million dollars
  • 2018-2019 the value is between 21-22 million dollars

Source: Department of Education

Our liabilities—what we owe

The department held liabilities totalling $0.998 billion at 30 June 2020, a decrease of $62 million from 2018–19. This decrease is mainly due to timing of payroll outgoings.

Leased assets and corresponding finance lease liabilities for the Aspire South East Queensland Schools, and the Queensland Schools–Plenary programs are held by the department and form the majority of our financial liabilities.

Last updated 12 November 2020