Safe and capable people delivering our vision


​​​​We are committed to delivering our strategic goals in partnership with staff, communities and stakeholders, to build a diverse, capable and confident workforce and provide safe and responsive services across Queensland.

Principal Health and Wellbeing 2021–22 Action Plan

The Principal Health and Wellbeing 202​1–22 Action Plan was launched, as part of the Principal Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2020–2022.

The Action Plan outlines 15 initiatives supporting principal health and wellbeing, including:

  • continuing the Principal Hotline and Principal Complex Matters Referral Team
  • providing new Management Foundations online training to support professional development
  • providing the Principal Coaching and Support Service to build capacity in managing stress and improving resilience.

Prioritising staff wellbeing

As one of the largest employers in Queensland, the benefits of supporting our people are far-reaching, at an individual, workplace level and community level. The Staff Wellbeing Framework takes a holistic wellbeing approach, to support us to support our staff and build a healthier workforce.

The following initiatives supported the framework in 2021–22:

  • Regional Wellbeing Coordinators in all regions, to collaborate and determine staff wellbeing needs, develop action plans, and evaluate staff health and wellbeing
  • Stress Reduction and Wellbeing Program made available for all staff, to help develop personal skills and techniques via mindful attentiveness training
  • Looking After Yourself series, to support staff mental and physical wellbeing, including practical advice, information, training and podcasts.

We All Belong

The We all Belong workplace inclusion and diversity framework underpins inclusion and diversity across the department—valuing and embracing the different skills, knowledge and experiences staff bring to work.

Initiatives launched in 2021–22 as part of the framework include:

  • a co-designed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Framework, which communicates to all employees that the workforce be inclusive and that cultural capability is 'everyone’s business'
  • a co-designed 3-year Cultural Capability Action Plan
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identified Position Guideline to improve representation of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples through identified positions
  • an All Kinds of Minds neurodiversity pilot, which continues to establish recruitment pathways targeting the strengths and talents of a diverse workforce
  • a Gender Pay Gap Audit and Gender Equity Audit as part of the Pathways to Parity workforce strategy 2019–2021 to better understand gender equality in the department across key indicators
  • a Proud at Work Workforce Strategy outlining how workplaces become welcoming, safe and inclusive for LGBTIQ+ staff and allies
  • a partnership with Multicultural Australia to develop resources about how to create culturally safe and inclusive workplaces
  • a Generational Diversity online module to cultivate workplace cultures where employees of all ages feel they belong and are valued
  • a Flexible by Design Framework 2020–2023, which continues to provide capability to managers and leaders to create mutually beneficial flexible work approaches that align role and service delivery needs, team priorities and outcomes, and individual need.

As a result of the initiatives supporting the framework the department:

  • participated in the Public Service Commission’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Career pathway pilot, with 6 non-frontline employees’ positions created
  • achieved a ranking of first out of Australian national organisations benchmarked for the key area of Innovation in the Australian Network on Disability Access and Inclusion Index
  • was certified as the only Queensland Government agency that is a Family Inclusive Workplace.

Engaging Communities: Empowering Futures

The Engaging Communities: Empowering Futures Framework seeks to develop sustained, respectful and inclusive engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and communities. It is underpinned by the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, Queensland Government Reconciliation Action Plan, the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan and the department’s Commitment Statement to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Engagement Framework aims to:

  • foster respectful, high quality and culturally appropriate engagement between the department and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities
  • invite and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to inform, collaborate and co-design initiatives with the department
  • support departmental staff to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, students, families, stakeholders and communities.

In 2021–22, plans were developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, students, parents and community members to support implementation of the Engagement Framework.​

Domestic and Family Violence

The department maintained its White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation, which is part of an organisational commitment to a workplace culture that does not accept domestic and family violence, promotes gender equity, and supports employees affected by domestic and family violence.

A range of communication and educational materials has been developed to ensure employees can recognise and respond to domestic and family violence as it presents. The 'Recognise, Respond, Refer' training package, released in 2021, helps employees recognise the signs of a colleague who may be impacted by domestic and family violence, and how to assist them.

All employees also have 24-hour access to targeted support services through the department’s Employee Assistance Program. Principals and staff with supervisory responsibilities also have access to the Manager Hotline, which provides advice on how to best support staff impacted by traumatic events or experiencing distress.

Safety Framework review

The Safety Framework Review Project was established in 2021. The review seeks to enhance the identification, oversight, management and control of whole of department safety risks and hazards, as well as ensuring due diligence responsibilities and workplace health and safety obligations are understood and met.

In 2021–22, we restructured our department-wide Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee and established a Peak Union Health Safety and Wellbeing Committee.

We also completed 4 reviews focused on our risk management framework, governance, communication and consultation, and policy and procedure reform. Work has commenced to implement recommendations from these reviews, which will ensure our systems, tools and culture promote the highest standards of safety for our most important asset: our people.

Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy

The department’s annual Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy (CYRMS) (PDF, 305KB) was released in January 2022. As an organisation regulated by the blue card system, the department is required to develop, implement and maintain a child and youth risk management strategy that addresses 8 mandatory requirements. This is to ensure any potential risks of harm to children and young people are identified and that strategies are implemented to mitigate and minimise the identified risks.​

Occupational violence and aggression prevention

Everyone has the right to be safe at work. The Occupational Violence and Aggression Prevention Strategy (PDF, 5MB) (the OVAP Strategy) seeks to build a culture of violence prevention that involves staff, parents, carers and students.

The OVAP Strategy is underpinned by the Action plan 2021–22 and beyond. Actions delivered include:

  • the Safe and Respectful School Communities communication campaign to raise awareness of occupational violence in schools
  • the Parent and Community Code of Conduct which outlines how parents, carers and visitors should conduct themselves while on school grounds, at school events or engaging with other members of the school community
  • an Occupational Violence and Aggression (OVA) Incident support and response process and guide which provide step-by-step actions to support staff affected by OVA.​

Teacher Supply, Attraction, Recruitment and Mobility

Like all jurisdictions across Australia, Queensland is experiencing challenges when it comes to the supply of teachers.

The department has extensive measures in place and in the development to ensure the best chance of addressing this challenge. Resourcing all state schools is a priority for the department.

We have maintained a strong focus on attracting, sourcing and recruiting the workforce we need for our schools across Queensland. Key initiatives in the reporting period include:

  • launching the Teacher Rapid Response Team to mobilise state school teachers in South-East Queensland to fill critical vacancies in high priority locations
  • the It's your move campaign, which targeted recruitment for the 2022 school year
  • reviewing teacher recruitment processes, with a focus on supporting better teacher recruitment outcomes for schools, regions and candidates
  • the Teach Queensland and Teach Rural Career Fairs, which attracted over 1,000 attendees
  • the department’s Teacher Mobility program, which supports the movement of our teaching workforce, provides opportunities for all school communities to have access to experienced teachers and supports the breadth of teacher capability.

The department continues to offer incentives and compensation benefits to teachers as part of the Recognition of Rural and Remote Service Scheme, such as additional paid discretionary leave, and additional payments and allowances.

Turn to Teaching Internship Program

The new Turn to Teaching Internship program seeks to attract existing professionals to gain teaching qualifications to fill positions in rural and remote areas or priority leaning areas including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), English, Languages other than English and special education subject areas.

The department has partnered with Griffith University and the University of Southern Queensland to identify the initial cohort, following an expression of interest process.

The program aims to provide 300 aspiring teachers with:

  • a $20,000 scholarship in the first year of the full-time postgraduate Initial Teacher Education (ITE) program to support expenses
  • a paid internship (full-time) in a Queensland state school with reduced teaching load (50%​) during the second year of the postgraduate ITE program
  • a supervising teacher, mentor and access to a community of practice for interns to share experiences
  • an offer of permanent employment (subject to meeting the program conditions) as a teacher in a priority subject area or region.

At the commencement of the 2022 school year, 65 aspiring teachers began the program.​

Employing additional teachers and teacher aides

More than 6,100 teachers and 1,100 teacher aides will be employed over the next four calendar years to meet the teaching needs. As at 30 June 2022, 2,986 new full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers and 1,152 new FTE teacher aides were employed as part of this commitment. This includes:

  • 1,662 FTE new teachers and 665 FTE new teacher aides in the 2021 calendar year
  • 1,324 new FTE teachers and 487 new FTE teacher aides in the 2022 calendar year.

Learning and development

The department provides learning programs and resources to ensure staff have opportunities to upskill, develop, and build their capability. Staff engagement and satisfaction with these programs remains high, with 90% of participants stating they would recommend courses to others and 96% confident about applying skills learned.

In 2021–22, processes for managing and completing mandatory training were significantly improved, resulting in:

  • 92,070 completions of the 2022 Mandatory All-Staff Training and Management Foundations programs, equating to a 97% completion rate
  • 84,102 completions of the Student Protection program
  • 64,515 co​mpletions of the Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment program.

In addition to mandatory training, the department launched a OneInduction program in January 2022, which provided 4,650 new employees with a welcome pack containing tailored information to help them navigate their start in the department.

We also increased professional development opportunities through:

  • the launch of the Professional Development Upskilling Library, which has been accessed by over 10,000 unique users
  • the delivery of 408 short courses and workshops covering topics such as team building, communication and management skills, problem solving/decision making, and resilience building, with 4,364 attendees across Queensland.

​The Beginning teacher learning suite has been established for preservice, beginning and early-career state school teachers to support increased retention during the first 3 to 5 years in the profession. It provides an integrated, blended-learning approach to support teachers through foundational programs focused on building confidence and skills. These programs are co-designed with subject matter experts and contextualised for Queensland.

The ongoing work of the Teacher Learning Centres (TLC) is also supporting beginning teachers, early-career teachers, supervising preservice teachers, mentors, school leaders and aspiring school leaders. In 2021–22, 2,326 beginning teachers attended TLC-delivered regional inductions and reconnect events.

Programs have also been delivered for a broader range of staff, including our cleaners, teacher aides, science technicians, community education counsellors, business managers, administration staff and school officers. Through these programs, employees have been able to build new competencies, achieve recognised prior learning, and access quality learning opportunities.

Last updated 18 April 2023