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Every Queenslander prepared for the future

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Transforming the way we do business​

The department is delivering contemporary, high quality services to meet the changing needs of Queenslanders through a culture of innovation and continual improvement.


We met the needs of our business in 2017-18 by:

Delivering new schools and classrooms

  • Four new state primary schools — North Shore, Picnic Creek, Baringa and Yarrabilba State Schools.
  • Stage 2 construction at Pallara, Bellmere, Griffin and Deebing Heights State Schools.
  • Accelerated work for Stage 2 of Picnic Creek State School was completed in June 2018.
  • Stage 3a at Highfields State Secondary College.
  • Over 500 new classrooms were delivered in 2017-18 with over 90 at new schools and over 410 for existing schools to cater for growth across the education portfolio.

School Infrastructure Enhancement

  • School Infrastructure Enhancement (SIE) promotes a forward thinking approach by repairing, modernising, repurposing and rationalising school facilities to deliver contemporary learning environments that align with current and future curriculum needs and help reduce future maintenance obligations.
  • The $64 million SIE program saw 227 projects completed to address school infrastructure requirements by supporting long-term improvements to the condition of school facilities, enhancing educational outcomes.

In the current year the department has completed Asset Life Cycle Assessments (ALCA) at 516 state schools and early childcare centres, with all state schools now having a completed ALCA.

Practical completion was achieved for 11 hall projects and contracts were awarded for another 18 under the Advancing Queensland Schools program.

We also completed 27 projects under the Smart School Subsidy Scheme.

Building Better Schools


To deliver a world-class education, we need schools built for the future. We have allocated $808 million to address enrolment growth pressures in state schools to be delivered through the Building Future Schools fund. Building Future Schools will:

  • build two new vertical schools, one in Fortitude Valley and one in Brisbane's inner-city south
  • prepare master plans for 35 inner-city schools
  • expand West End State School
  • expand Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology
  • build a state-of-the-art dance facility, in partnership with Queensland Ballet, at Kelvin Grove State College
  • deliver an additional six new schools for the start of the 2020 school year.

Through the Renewing Our Schools program, the department is providing up to $235 million over four years to substantially refurbish and upgrade 16 state high schools and one primary school, including:

  • Aspley State High School
  • Bundaberg State High School
  • Cairns State High School
  • Corinda State High School
  • Everton Park State High School
  • Ferny Grove State High School
  • Heatley Secondary College
  • Indooroopilly State High School
  • Mansfield State High School
  • Maryborough State High School
  • Mitchelton State High School
  • Proserpine State High School
  • Sarina State High School
  • Springwood State High School
  • Tropical North Learning Academy - Trinity Beach State School
  • Tropical North Learning Academy - Smithfield State High School
  • Toowoomba State High School.

Making sure we're ready for 2020

In 2007, the first universal year of Prep started with a smaller group of students, known as the 'half-year cohort'. With these students graduating in 2019, we are ensuring our state schools are ready in 2020 for the full cohort of students. The department is investing $250 million over two years in new classrooms and other infrastructure in state secondary schools to accommodate the six full cohorts for the start of 2020.

Identifying our infrastructure needs


We are helping schools identify their infrastructure needs through the School Strategic Infrastructure Plans (SSIP). The SSIPs are designed to capture short-, medium- and long-term facility needs that are over and above general maintenance. They create an opportunity for school leaders to describe the built environment that will help them achieve the school's educational goals in conjunction with both the department and the wider school community. This financial year, schools were supported in the development of their SSIP so we can plan for our future.

Committing to clean energy and reducing state school energy costs

The department has committed to the Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) program by investing $97 million over three years from 2017-18. The ACES program will deliver the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy efficiency measures and an education program to improve energy management behaviour in over 800 state schools.

Employing more teachers

We are investing more than $1 billion over the next four years to employ more than 3,700 extra teachers to meet growth across the state, with teachers deployed on the basis of population growth.

We also continued support of the $152.4 million investment over three years to deliver the Queensland Government's Extra Teachers commitment to hire up to 875 additional teachers. We are providing funding for an additional 45 full-time equivalent (FTE) instrumental music teachers over three years at a total cost of $9.8 million.

Teachers for today, tomorrow and the future

Our world is changing rapidly and we need a workforce that can respond to the emerging needs of our students and community. We know that we not only need to meet the demand for teachers, but we need to make sure our workforce is agile, skilled and supported so that we have teachers in high-priority subject areas and locations where they are needed the most.

Teaching Queensland's Future strategy is a $107 million investment over 3 years to meet the increasing demand for teachers in Queensland state schools. It is our response to factors driving teacher supply and demand in Queensland state schools: increasing student numbers, curriculum changes, teacher qualification reforms, and teachers being employed in other sectors or industries.

We will support, develop and retain our current teachers, partner with higher education institutes to skill and prepare graduates to recruit to our state school classrooms, and we will inspire people to become our teachers of the future.

Looking after our beginning teachers

We know beginning teachers can benefit enormously from engaging with an experienced educator on a regular basis. That is why 2,700 beginning teachers participated in mentoring activities in 2017. We extended the Mentoring Beginning Teachers program and invested in training an additional 200 mentors. We continue to work to improve wellbeing support for beginning and early career teachers and those undergoing career transition.

Keeping our highly accomplished teachers in the classroom

With our key partners the Queensland Teachers' Union and the Queensland College of Teachers, we piloted the Highly Accomplished Teachers and Lead Teachers initiative. We want to make sure that we have a career path which helps our best teachers stay in the classroom, improving the lives of Queensland students. We progressed the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers initiative that will be fully available statewide in 2019.

In 2017-18, we continued to implement the Government's $6 million three-year program to establish an enhanced and rigorous teacher classification system and pay structure to modernise and improve the teaching profession.

Attracting high quality professionals to the sector

We are continuing to promote the teaching profession and the department as an employer of choice to attract high-performing employees.

In 2017-18, we appointed teaching career ambassadors to promote careers in teaching in state schools and allocated additional funding of $150 million over three years from 2018-19 and ongoing funding for investment in teacher attraction, quality and leadership.

Delivering broadband to the community

Partnering with Telstra over five years to deliver a $137 million broadband upgrade program to state schools. The partnership delivered new fibre optic installations to over 500 schools and upgraded broadband to 1,050 schools, including Aurukun, Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw schools, with new fibre optic services provisioned benefitting the whole community.

Committing to keeping students safe from cyber bullying


We are leading the country in Cyber Safety, according to the eSafety Commissioner. Through our ongoing commitment to cyber safety awareness in schools, our team of specialists continues to work with industry to make sure we can act swiftly in response to online content affecting the health and wellbeing of our students and staff.

We presented cyber safety sessions to state schools covering a wide range of online topics and promoting safe and positive use of social media and continued developing resources to support students, teachers and parents.

Making sure we're all on the same page

We are committed to ensuring our information and communication technology (ICT) services are aligned, efficient and effective. We're making sure all divisions within the department have an ICT roadmap allowing for greater integrated third-party solutions.

Taking cyber and information security seriously

We are committed to maintaining suitable and relevant security practices through implementing preventative tools.

We are also committed to ensuring compliance to industry and government standards, by raising awareness to all staff by means of an annual campaign and ensuring OneSchool aligned to the most up-to-date version of Privacy and Security standards.

Influencing the national agenda

The department continues to work collaboratively with the Australian Government, our stakeholders and other states and territories to improve outcomes across the early years and schooling sectors. During 2017–18 we have focused on negotiating a new school funding agreement to ensure fair and needs-based federal funding is available to Queensland schools now and into the future.

We continue to work hard to deliver fair and sustainable funding arrangements through the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education to make sure kindergarten continues to be universally available for all Queensland children. We continued to progress the Council of Australian Government priorities by supporting ministerial and departmental representation at the Education Council and other national and statewide committees.

Directing research effort to maximise impact

Throughout 2017–18, we continued to set strategic research directions through the department’s Research Plan to make sure research effort and investment is focused and maximises its impact. To improve the accessibility of research both inside and outside the department and streamline the research application process, the Queensland Education Research Inventory was launched in January 2018.

Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners


The department is committed to ensuring we deliver a quality education that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners to make a great start, achieve their full learning potential and shaping their own futures. In 2017, the department consulted widely with key stakeholders on the draft Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education action plan. In total, more than 220 individuals and 71 organisations were engaged during the consultation process. The department remains committed to and values continued engagement with the Ministerial Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training Advisory Committee, which provides independent expert and cultural advice on early childhood, school education and training matters impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The department continues to work at state and national levels to ensure the needs and aspirations of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and students are addressed through a range of whole-of-government and national initiatives.

Delivering contemporary legislation and minimising risk

During 2017-18 we delivered three major pieces of legislation.

The Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2017 modernises and streamlines non-state school accreditation and eligibility for government funding. The Education (Overseas Students) Act 2018, helps ensure a contemporary, nationally consistent regulatory approach to providers of courses to overseas students and international secondary student exchange programs. This continues our efforts to protect the safety and welfare of all students.

The University Legislation Amendment Act 2017 reformed governance for James Cook University and made other amendments for the seven public universities in Queensland. This included amendments to remove certain limitations on the delegation of powers and functions by university governing bodies and improving the integrity of the membership of university governing bodies.

Our functions and powers are derived from administering various Acts of Queensland Parliament in accordance with Administrative Arrangements Order (No. 2) 2017. This is available online at Government responsibilities. For a complete list of legislation administered by the department please refer to Appendix D – Our legislation (PDF, 141KB).

Risk management

The Australian/New Zealand and International Standard for Risk Management (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009) 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 at Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

Audit and risk management committee

Pursuant to sections 15 and 28 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 (FPMS), the department has established an audit and risk management committee to manage strategic and operational risks.

The department’s Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) provides independent advice to the Director-General in the discharge of his responsibilities, imposed under the Financial Accountability Act 2009, on matters relating to the financial statements, risk management, internal control, performance management, internal audit and external audit within the scope of its duties and responsibilities.

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

Details about the ARMC, including membership and a description of the committee’s role, functions, responsibilities and achievements for 2017-18, are available in Appendix F – Governance committees (PDF, 213KB).

Customer complaints management

In early 2017, the department introduced a new Customer Complaints Management Framework, policy and procedure to meet its requirements under section 219A of the Public Service Act 2008.

The department manages customer complaints in an accountable, transparent, timely and fair manner. We are committed to promoting better practice across the department and are focused on continuous improvement across our schools, regions and divisions.

The department’s customer complaints data can be obtained from the departments annual report page.

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 to the Director-General and 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 develops an annual 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 2017-18, Internal Audit completed:

  • 280 school audits including full scope and follow-up audits;
  • 26 general audits including school theme-based reviews; and
  • 11 information systems audits.

Internal Audit also:

  • provided assurance services to a number of departmental ICT-enabled projects
  • attended and provided advice to key governance, working group and steering committees
  • conducted targeted audit enquiries
  • performed independent payroll verification checks on payroll rate changes
  • validated actions taken by management to address internal audit and QAO findings.

During 2017-18, Internal Audit completed a risk-based Annual Audit Plan incorporating key enterprise and strategic risks across the department. It also implemented an updated school audit program and an analytics server to examine departmental data more easily. Partnerships and communications with stakeholders across all areas of audit activity were strengthened and a full cycle of follow-up audits for schools with minimal or unsatisfactory audit results was completed.

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 2017-18 financial year is available in Appendix E – External scrutiny (PDF, 74KB).

Statutory bodies and portfolio entities

The department supports the statutory bodies and entities identified in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s register. Some statutory bodies, including universities and grammar schools, prepare their own reports. Information about these bodies and entities can be obtained from the departments annual report page and Queensland Register of Appointees to Government Bodies.

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994


All departmental employees are required to comply with the public sector ethics principles (the principles) set out in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994. This is achieved through department-wide implementation of the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service and the department’s Standard of Practice, which contextualises the Code to the department’s unique environment.

Employees are required to undertake public sector ethics education and training upon commencement of their employment with the department, and at intervals of no more than 12 months thereafter. This training relates to the operation of the Act, the application of ethics principles and obligations to employees’ daily work, and the contents of the Code and the Standard.

As well as ensuring employees are aware of their ethicsrelated rights and obligations through targeted education and training, these principles are embedded in the department’s strategic plan, operational plans, individual employee performance plans, policy instruments and procedures.

Some of our key achievements in 2017–18:

  • reviewed and provided feedback as a lead agency to the Public Service Commission regarding the revision of the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service;
  • commenced review and revision of the department’s Standard of Practice in order to ensure alignment with the revised Code of Conduct;
  • commenced development of a training package aimed at senior leadership positions with the department–‘Executive Ethics’ for development and delivery 2018–19; and
  • commenced the assessment and development of regional and branch-level ‘Fraud and Corruption Risk Registers’ with a view to increasing awareness, control measures, reporting and management. 

Records management (Information systems and recordkeeping)

Pursuant to section 7 of the Public Records Act 2002, the department must make and keep full and accurate records of its activities and have regard to any relevant policy, standards and guidelines made by the archivist about the making and keeping of public records.

In 2017–18, we:

  • updated policies and procedures relating to records management and promoted training and awareness programs;
  • reviewed and improved internal processes regarding access, security and control of departmental records;
  • implemented recommendations in response to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published report; and
  • worked with Queensland State Archives to review the Education and Training Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule incorporating changes to relevant legislation.

Consultancies, language services and overseas travel

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

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Last updated
02 November 2018