Capable people delivering responsive services


​​With over 95,000 employees (the equivalent of almost 75,000 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.

Our workforce adapted to the challenges and opportunities presented throughout the year and developed new ways of working to respond to the diverse and changing needs of Queensland communities, workplaces and schools.

We continue our journey to build an inclusive culture reflecting the diversity in our communities, improving performance and attracting and retaining the workforce we require to support our communities.

Inclusion and diversity thro​​​​ugh We All Belong

The department’s We All Belong workforce inclusion and diversity framework was re-launched in November 2020 outlining our approach to inclusion and diversity—to grow together as an organisation, valuing and embracing the different skills, knowledge and experiences each of our staff brings to work. In 2020, workforce strategies and initiatives were released under the We All Belong framework, including:

  • Proud at Work
    In June 2020 and June 2021, the department was awarded a Gold Standard in the Australian Workforce Equality Index, showing dedication to building LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces. The department was the only state government department in Australia to receive a Gold award.
  • Able. Valuing talent in all abilities
    In 2020, we released our first Accessibility Action Plan. The All Kinds of Minds neurodiversity pilot also commenced in 2020 to establish recruitment pathways to target the strengths and talents of a diverse workforce, focusing on people who are neurodiverse. In 2021, the department was awarded an international Gold award acknowledging the pilot.
  • Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people
    Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce strategy supports the department’s Commitment Statement​. One priority from the strategy focuses on building inclusive workplaces that are culturally capable. This commenced with co-design workshops to develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability framework. A working group of 38 people made up of departmental staff, community and industry stakeholders co-designed the framework in workshops held in Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane in November 2020, February 2021 and March 2021.
  • Pathways to Parity
    In 2020, we released the Pathways to Parity workforce strategy, aiming to provide workplaces where all employees, regardless of gender identification, have the same rights, access and opportunities to employment and career pathways enabling them to balance work and life commitments and participate fully in our workplaces.
  • Many Cultures
    In 2020, the Many Cultures workforce strategy was released to celebrate difference and leverage the diverse knowledge, skills and experience of our multicultural workforce. This workforce strategy supports the Multicultural Queensland Charter; a statement of Queensland's values and aspirations, recognising the long and rich history of diversity and the strength it provides for Queensland's shared future.
  • Generational Diversity
    The Generational Diversity workforce strategy was released in 2020, aiming to prepare our workforce for the future, recognise and respect the needs of individuals at every life stage and encourage workplace cultures where every employee feels valued for who they are regardless of age.
  • Flexible by design
    In 2020, the department released the Flexible by Design Framework 2020–2023, recognising that providing options for working flexibly fosters an inclusive culture that supports a diverse range of staff to participate fully in our workplaces. The pandemic required us to explore flexible ways of working to ensure continuity of service. In 2020, we conducted a 12-month trial of an online job-sharing platform, along with a cultural change campaign, in nominated secondary schools in Metropolitan Region, Cairns and Townsville. The trial aimed to improve staff retention in transition to retirement, to assist our workforce to access promotional opportunities on a part-time basis, and to support staff returning from parental leave.

Employing additional teachers and t​​eacher aides

We are employing more than 6,100 teachers and 1,100 teacher aides over the next 4 calendar years to meet the current teaching needs. In 2021, an additional 437.05 FTE teachers and 160.84 FTE teacher aides were allocated through our school staffing models. The final resource allocation of teachers and teacher aides is expected by 31 March 2024.

Staff wellbein​g

As part of implementing the department’s staff wellbeing framework, we have developed a range of initiatives to support staff wellbeing across the 5 wellbeing dimensions: physical, psychological, occupational, financial, and social and community engagement. These include online training modules on the Staff Wellbeing Learning and Resources portal as well the development of a new looking after yourself during COVID-19 OnePortal page with additional psychological wellbeing resources to support staff through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Principal Coaching and Support Service, delivered by headspace, continues to provide telephone support and training on a range of psychological and self-care topics to school leaders. During 2020–21, 275 principal coaching and support calls were conducted and 1,807 attendances by school leaders at training sessions.

The Staff Mental Health strategy was released for consultation in 2020. The strategy was revised following feedback from staff and stakeholders and will be released in 2021. The strategy includes an action plan to implement activities and initiatives to address the 3 focus areas of prevention and promotion, early intervention and recovery/rehabilitation.

Since 2020, 7 regional wellbeing coordinators (RWCs) have been providing support for schools in planning and implementing staff wellbeing initiatives in line with the department’s Staff Wellbeing Framework and Staff Wellbeing Planning Guide. To date, RWCs have engaged with over 400 schools and delivered training to almost 5,000 staff. As part of the Workforce Priorities Program, RWC support has been extended to regional offices.

As part of the Principal Health and Wellbeing strategy, we continue to deliver a range of initiatives that focus on assisting school leaders with the practicalities and complexities associated with leading and managing a school, including the pilot of a dedicated principal hotline and complex matters case management support service.

Public Sector Ethics Act 199​4

All employees are required to comply with the public sector ethics principles set out in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994. Employees undertake online mandatory public sector ethics training when commencing employment and at intervals of no more than 12 months thereafter. The mandatory all-staff training (MAST) program is updated annually to incorporate new information that all staff need to know.

Learning and professional development

We have seen a significant increase in Learning and Professional Development (L&PD) programs in 2020 and 2021.

We had 94,121 completions of our 2021 MAST program, (including contractors and volunteers). As at 30 June 2021, 89.4% of staff have completed the program.

Through a range of new L&PD online programs, we have focused on building the capability of our workforce in priority areas, from our Beginning Teacher Learning Suite through to our Management Foundations program. Over 63,074 participants engaged with this learning, designed to be easily accessible, readily applicable to the workplace and to enable ongoing capability and support. An additional 7,690 staff participated in 714 facilitated short courses. Also, we had:

  • 373 leaders and aspiring leaders participate in the LEAD4QLD program to gain insights into their leadership capability;
  • 230 leaders participate in the coaching and mentoring development program; and
  • over 500 leadership capability and professional development sessions delivered to leaders.

Industrial Technology and Design (ITD) Technologies Safety Awareness and Induction has received 709 enrolments for the online course which introduces staff who work in ITD workshops to safety processes and practices relating the ITD curriculum and workshop environments.

Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) training has received over 51,355 enrolments and is applicable for all state school staff who are responsible for planning or delivering activities to students as a part of the Australian Curriculum. It assists teachers, school leaders and others in their legal duty of care of students under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The Aspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders Program delivered leadership capability to 38 participants. At the commencement of the program, participants established a leadership goal, defining how this would be achieved in a school context via a targeted project or challenge, working with colleagues across schools and engaging in peer coaching. Project results and peer reflections were shared at the conclusion of the program. The promotion of participants into higher leadership roles has been observed in 8 participants—7 have progressed from their initial teaching positions at the commencement of the program into a leadership position, with 1 of these participants achieving 2 role-classification progressions from Teacher, to Head of Curriculum, to Deputy Principal. An additional participant progressed from a position of Relief Teacher to a Senior Teacher position.

There are now 102 more language teachers available as a result of completing the languages upskilling program for teachers. The 2020 program extended opportunities for Auslan, Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages participants.

The department has implemented a new recognition of prior learning (RPL) process for Community Education Counsellors (CECs) for salary progression purposes in accordance with the Teaching in State Education Award—State 2016 (Clause 12.8).

Recognition is achieved through an RPL process that assesses prior learning and work experience related to Aboriginal culture and environment and Torres Strait Islander culture and environment. As at 24 June 2021, 10 CECs have completed the process and 25 are currently working on their applications.

The department undertook a review of the Professional Development Panel of Pre-qualified Providers and has broadened the scope of the new panel to include areas beyond the previous scope of leadership. We are also merging other Standing Offer Arrangements (SOAs) to reduce administrative load and improve quality and consistency of outcomes.

Teacher Learning Centr​​​es

Since the commencement of 2020, Teacher Learning Centres (TLCs) have been established across Queensland to streamline support for preservice, beginning and early career teachers and those who support them (mentors, school leaders).

The strong partnership between L&PD and the TLCs has provided a platform for consistent delivery and coordination of professional learning in each of the 7 regions. The relationships and local knowledge of TLC teams ensure quality in professional learning, with 476 events and 8,665 attendees over the past 12 months. A participation satisfaction rating of 95% shows that the work TLCs are delivering is aligned to priorities, and helping to build confident and capable teachers.

Review of the employment securit​y policy

To increase the number of permanent employment positions, we are implementing the government’s employment security policy as it relates to Queensland state schools.

We have incorporated employment security provisions in all our Enterprise Agreements and are including provisions in our recruitment policies and procedures.

We are also continuing to implement the Public Sector Employment Reforms which support the government’s commitment to maximising employment security and the positive and proactive management of employee performance.

Our workforce profile

As at 30 June 2021, the department had:

  • 95,373 employees or 75,296.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff
  • approximately 94% of the workforce based in a school
  • 2.8% of the workforce identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • 4.39% of the workforce who have had a disability
  • 8.56% of the workforce who were from a non-english-speaking background
  • 2.7% of the total workforce providing corporate services
  • approximately 0.5% of total FTE staff employed as senior officers, senior executive officers, miscellaneous workers or trainees
  • a permanent staff retention rate of 94.9%
  • an annual permanent separation rate of 5.1%.

During 2020–21, 3 employees received a redundancy package at a total cost of $272,838.39. No retrenchment or early retirement packages were paid during this period.

Workforce by type of employment

​Employment category​% of workforce
​Permanent employees​81.8%
​Temporary employees​14.1%
​Casual and contract employees​4.1%
Total ​100%

Workforce by type of employment

​Occupational group​% of workforce
​Teacher aides​14.3%
​Public servants​13.3%
​School officers​1.8%
Total ​100%

Note: Employee numbers are based on quarter 2, 2021 Minimum Obligatory Human Resource Information (MOHRI) point-in-time data. MOHRI FTE data for fortnight ending 18 June 2021.

Integrity and governance reforms

We are committed to the highest standards of integrity and conduct at every level; to act ethically and use resources to support the education of Queensland children and young people.

To support this commitment, we are delivering integrity and governance reforms to ensure cohesion of our systems, processes, strategies and standards. Initiatives delivered under the Integrity and governance reforms—next 90-day action plan—include:

  • speaking up: promoting and raising awareness through campaigns and training about speaking up and the importance of people having the confidence to say something if it does not seem right
  • managing conflicts of interest: delivering updated MAST and refresher program as well as the Management Foundations program
  • executive selection and appointments (for SES and SES-equivalent positions and level 8 principal positions and above): releasing the new online module, supporting resources and tools to support panel members and chairs undertaking Executive selection and appointment processes.

We also published new policies and procedures and support materials, including a conflicts of interest policy and procedure and a revised recruitment and selection procedure.

Widening Tertiary Participatio​n

In January 2021, the Department entered into a new Widening Tertiary Participation (WTP) Memorandum of Understanding for 2020–23. Continuing a decade of WTP arrangements, this involves all Queensland universities undertaking engagement activities in Queensland state schools. It aims to increase engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from regional areas and students from low socio-economic status backgrounds in higher education.

Last updated 03 November 2021