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Capable and confident people delivering responsive services

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With over 92,000 employees (the equivalent of almost 74,000 full-time employees) across the state, our department continues to build a capable and confident workforce by attracting and supporting people from all backgrounds, cultures and identities. We have employed quality teachers to meet the demand of our growing child and student population.

We are investing in new infrastructure, including the building of new schools and the renewal of existing ones, to meet contemporary learning needs. We continue to invest in innovative technologies to keep pace with the rapid advances in technology, to ensure our students and staff, schools, workplaces and communities are globally connected.

We supported our people in 2019–20 to make a difference everyday.

Employing more teachers

We are committed to ensuring we meet the growing demand for quality teachers across Queensland, allocating an additional 1,133 teacher positions to schools this year. This is part of the Queensland Government’s 4-year commitment to employ an extra 3,700 teachers between 2017 and 2021 on the basis of population growth.

Relaunching Teach Queensland

The Teach Queensland website was relaunched with a range of new resources on the benefits of teaching as a career, how to become a teacher and pathways to teaching for school-based support staff. The website continues to be fundamental in promoting teaching as a profession, helping people start their teaching careers, providing information and links to grants and scholarships, and attracting teachers to state schools across Queensland, particularly for rural, remote and regional communities.

Teaching Learning Centres

Our Teaching Learning Centres are ensuring high-calibre pre-service teachers are classroom, school and community ready to start their careers where the need is greatest. Centres are now operational in each of the department’s seven regions, providing statewide support and quality teacher professional learning experiences including professional development, release time, mentoring and coaching, networking and holistic induction resources.

Future teachers program

The pilot Future Teachers program was successfully completed in December 2019, with 15 schools and 4 higher education institutions establishing partnerships as part of the pilot to encourage students to choose teaching as their career. The program is now available to all interested state schools, with approximately 30 schools offering the program from Term 1, 2020.

Building schools for the future

We ensured schools were ready to accommodate the additional 17,000 students who entered high school in 2020, delivering new infrastructure to 61 state schools across Queensland and supporting more than 700 Queensland jobs.

The Renewing Our Schools program is delivering a broad range of infrastructure in state schools, including multipurpose sports centres, performing arts centres, additional learning spaces, science laboratories, information technology (IT) hubs and communication upgrades and refurbishment of existing facilities—all informed by local school priorities.

A record 8 new schools were opened in 2020:

  • Calliope State High School
  • Fortitude Valley State Secondary College
  • Foxwell State Secondary College
  • Lee Street State Special School
  • Mango Hill State Secondary College
  • Ripley Valley State School
  • Ripley Valley State Secondary College
  • Yarrabilba State Secondary College.

Cleaner greener schools

The Cooler Cleaner Schools Program (CCSP) is air-conditioning over 10,000 classrooms, libraries and staff rooms in over 650 state schools by the end of June 2022.

To assist in offsetting the energy needs of these air conditioning units, the CCSP will also expand the Advancing Clean Energy Schools Program delivering solar and energy efficiency measures across more than 800 state schools. As at 30 June 2020, 290 schools had received solar and/or energy efficiency measures as part of the program’s achievements.

Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education: An action plan for Queensland

In October 2019, we launched Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education: An action plan for Queensland. Through the 83 actions identified in the action plan, we will:

  • further improve kindergarten participation
  • lift school education outcomes
  • develop culturally appropriate teaching and learning resources
  • provide professional development opportunities for staff.

The action plan aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and students to develop the knowledge, skills and qualities they need to be ready for the jobs of tomorrow and shape their own futures.

Embracing new technology

During the COVID-19 pandemic much of our workforce trialled remote-working arrangements for the very first time, with Microsoft OneNote® proving a valuable software application to help us stay connected.

So much so, our department became the biggest user of the application worldwide with teachers quick to adapt and embrace the new technology to deliver critical work, record meeting minutes, organise lesson plans and create shareable content libraries.

Human Rights Act 2019

Following the introduction of the Human Rights Act 2019 (the Act) on 1 January 2020, the department:

  • partnered with the Queensland Human Rights Commission to conduct staff training and education about the Act
  • reviewed over 120 policies and procedures for compatibility with the Act
  • provided resources and information to staff and the general public about the department's approach to managing human rights complaints
  • assessed 10 human rights complaints as upheld/substantiated (either in full, or in part) and an action or decision found to be incompatible with human rights. These complaints were managed in accordance with the department's customer complaint management framework. Action taken for substantiated complaints may include overturning a decision, giving an apology, changing a practice or process, providing a service not previously provided or addressing or referring the issue for system improvement.

Risk management

The Australian/New Zealand and International Standard for Risk Management (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2018) underpins the department’s risk management framework and processes, which involve understanding the impact of uncertainty on the achievement of the department’s objectives. The department’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework is available on the Department of Education website.

Audit and Risk Management Committee

Section 30 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019 requires the department to establish an Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC).

The ARMC provides independent advice to the Director-General to help fulfil his responsibilities, under the Financial Accountability Act 2009.

The ARMC meets on a quarterly basis and has observed the terms of its charter, and has had due regard to the Audit Committee Guidelines. In addition, the ARMC monitors the implementation progress of agreed actions against all Queensland Audit Office (QAO) audit recommendations.

Details about the ARMC, including membership and a description of the committee’s role, functions, remuneration, responsibilities and achievements for 2019–20, are available in Appendix F (PDF, 310KB).

Customer complaints management

The Customer Complaints Management System is an enterprise solution for customer complaints management and complies with the department’s framework, policy and procedure—consistent with section 219A of the Public Service Act 2008.

The department’s customer complaints data is available on the Department of Education website.

Internal Audit

Internal Audit provides risk-based audit and advisory services across the department, including centralised and regional functions, information systems, frontline service delivery areas, as well as providing advice on departmental programs and projects.

The Head of Internal Audit reports administratively to the Director-General and operationally to the ARMC in accordance with Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines. The Head of Internal Audit is suitably qualified as a Professional Member of the Institute of Internal Auditors Australia.

Internal Audit complies with its charter developed in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Financial Accountability Act 2009 to ensure the effective, efficient and economical operation of the branch.

Internal Audit continues to remain agile in its service delivery, and develops a 6+6 Month Audit Plan using various inputs including departmental priorities, strategic and operational risks and stakeholder consultation. The plan is endorsed by the ARMC and approved by the Director-General.

During 2019–20, Internal Audit undertook:

  • 261 school audits including full scope and follow-up audits
  • 352 school health checks
  • 14 general and operational audits
  • 5 information systems audits
  • 5 operational audits for the Office of Industrial Relations
  • provided assurance services to a number of departmental ICT-enabled projects
  • provided advice to key governance, working group and steering committees
  • conducted targeted auditing
  • performed independent payroll verification checks on seven payroll rate changes
  • validated actions taken by management to address internal audit and QAO findings.

Internal Audit implemented the school health check process, a review of the school audit program in response to the COVID-19 disruption and development of the school audit questionnaire. Enhancements were made to reporting tools for use by departmental governance committees, along with the development of relevant data analytics to improve targeted testing in school audits. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Internal Audit has affected the completion of the 6+6 Month Audit Plan with some reviews being deferred until the following year. In addition, on-site school audits were suspended for approximately three months for the period 24 March 2020 until the end of Term 2, 2020.

External scrutiny

The department is subject to a number of external reviewers, including the Queensland Auditor-General, the Office of the Information Commissioner (Queensland), the Crime and Corruption Commission (Queensland), and the Queensland Ombudsman.

Information about significant external audits and reviews of the department during the 2019–20 financial year is available in Appendix E (PDF, 118KB).

Information security

The department applies a risk-based approach to information security and data protection to ensure that the students, staff and the department are appropriately protected. This is an ongoing process as the threats the department faces continually evolve.

In 2019–20, we:

  • undertook multiple security awareness campaigns, which included technical assessments and in-person awareness sessions with technical school staff. We also updated the Bee iSecure campaign
  • participated in simulations run by the Queensland Government Chief Information Office to prepare for security incidents
  • implemented new services to protect our email environment and end-user devices from malicious activity
  • revamped our security testing and risk assessment practices to evaluate more applications. Information Security Policy, Management System and Governance Committee is embedding our approach to identifying and managing risks to information, applications and technologies consistent with the Queensland Government's information security policy (IS18:2018).

Information systems and recordkeeping

Pursuant to the Public Records Act 2002, the department is required to make and keep public records, and only dispose of public records with the appropriate authorisation. The department is also required under the Public Records Act 2002 and Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019, sections 7, 22 and 23, to have regard to the Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture and Records governance policy. The department continues to review and improve its record-keeping practices to ensure public sector accountability and transparency.

In 2019–20, we:

  • automated processes to assist in the management of claims through the National Redress Scheme and Right to Information requests
  • reviewed and updated record-keeping policies, procedures and guidance materials to assist staff in fulfilling their duties in managing public sector records
  • reviewed and updated the Education and Training Sector Retention and Disposal schedule to remove items subject to a disposal freeze in line with the direction of Queensland State Archives.

Statutory bodies and portfolio entities

The department supports the statutory bodies and entities identified in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s register. Statutory bodies, including universities and grammar schools, prepare their own reports. Information about these bodies and entities can be found at the Department of Education website and Department of the Premier and Cabinet website.

Consultancies, language services and overseas travel

Reports on expenditure on consultancies, language services and overseas travel are published on the Open Data website.

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Last updated 12 November 2020