School education


​​​​Every student succeeding

We are committed to continuous improvement to lift educational performance for every state school student. We seek to empower lifelong learners through a student-centred approach, where every student can access a world-class education that is inclusive, focused on student need, and celebrates our diversity and learning success within a culturally safe environment.

Step up into Education initiative

For young children and families, the transition to school is a significant and exciting milestone. The Step up into Education 2021–2024 initiative is a $4 million investment over 4 years to support transitions to school by focusing on effective partnerships and best practice approaches to early years curriculum and pedagogy.

Schools selected are those with a demonstrated commitment to early years improvement. These spotlight schools will undertake inquiries into effective and evidence-informed approaches to enhance transitions into school.​​

State Schools Improvement Strategy 2022–2026: Every student succeeding

The State Schools Impro​vement Strategy 2022–2026 informs policies, decisions and actions to lift the performance of each child and student in our state schooling system.

Priorities for this reporting period included:

  • success and wellbeing for all children and students as they transition through each stage of learning in an inclusive and equitable education system
  • continuous improvement in the access to, and teaching, learning and assessment of, the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline, the Australian Curriculum and senior syllabuses.

Supporting students' futures

In Term 1 2022, the Pathways to a successful future strategy was launched, to prepare all students to successfully transition from school to further education, training or employment, with an emphasis on preparing 21st century learners for the jobs of the future.

To support schools, the Pathways to a successful future hub was established, providing a central platform for schools to engage with high-quality resources including reviews and data, and evidence-based activities, tools, and career education.

Through the strong commitment of schools and regions to support student success in their lives beyond school, in 2021, 97.4% of Year 12 state school completers achieved a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA), exceeding the certification rate for students in all Queensland schools (95.4%). This represents a 1.4% increase in QCE/QCIA certification compared to 2020.

Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student succeeding strategy

In Term 4 2021, the revised Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student succeeding strategy was launched. Our vision is that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student will be supported in their learning, experience academic success, and feel a sense of belonging and connection to culture in their school community and classroom.

The aim of the strategy is to achieve improved outcomes through three priority areas:

  • High expectations: Increase the proportion of students achieving C or above in English to 80%; and reduce the number of students receiving multiple school disciplinary absences
  • Connection to culture: Increase the proportion of educators who strongly agree that they are confident in embedding cultural perspectives in learning to 30%
  • Meaningful pathways: Increase the student retention rate for years 10 to 12 up to 90%.​

First Nations languages

Approximately 100 state schools are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities to co-design language programs aligned to the Australian Curriculum for 27 different First Nations languages.

In 2021, the First Nations’ languages teacher pathway project included a language teaching professional development workshop in Cairns attended by 47 staff from 27 schools, representing 18 different languages. The project also included a procurement process to contract an Indigenous Registered Training Organisation to pilot the delivery of Certificate II, III, and IV level First Nations' languages teacher training courses.

In Term 1 2022, the third round of the Indigenous Languages Grant, a collaborative program between the department and the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, saw 8 school Parents and Citizens’ Associations receive grants to work with local communities to deliver language revival programs.

In Term 2 2022, 16 schools received a share of $320,000 funding as part of the inaugural First Nations’ Languages Program grant to co-design, co-plan and co-deliver Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander language programs in schools with Language Owners, and the department released the inaugural statewide Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages in state schools survey.

Work continued on the development of the departmental Indigenous Cultural & Intellectual Property (ICIP) Protocol for the teaching of Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages in Queensland State Schools and the Culture and Knowledge Remuneration Framework to support the learning of Australia’s First Nations’ languages in Queensland schools and to protect the cultural and intellectual property rights of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Building Cultural Capability in State Schools

The Building Cultural Capability in State Schools initiative seeks to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in relevant curriculum. The goal is to allow students to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, while engaging in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest, continuous living cultures.

Resources to support this initiative include:

  • an actionable playbook for schools
  • a reflection tool to help schools understand how they can improve cultural capability
  • a professional development package and programs for school staff.

The Dandiiri school and community library helps preservice teachers, teachers and early childhood educators access resources created by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Dandiiri staff help build educators’ confidence to share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and stories in teaching and learning.

Supporting our rural and remote state schools

Since 2018, the Advancing rural and remote education in Queensland state schools action plan (PDF, 1MB)​ has delivered positive outcomes for staff, students and families in rural and remote Queensland. In 2021, our Centres for Learning and Wellbeing continued to provide professional learning and wellbeing support to rural and remote teachers and school leaders, both face-to-face and virtually.

This included delivery of over 40,200 hours of professional learning to teachers and school leaders, including: leadership development; mentoring and resilience building for new teachers and those new to rural and remote settings; coaching to mid and experienced teachers; and wellbeing support to staff, students and families.

In 2021, the Reading and Writing Centre collaborated with the Centres for Learning and Wellbeing to develop leadership capability in the inclusive teaching of reading and writing to support improvement for students in rural and remote schools.

Forty-three employee houses in rural and remote locations were refurbished, with a further 31 houses upgraded under the external upgrade program for 2021–22 and 595 residences internet enabled through the Housing Improvement program.

Other key actions include: the delivery of Take the Lead programs for aspiring rural and remote leaders; opportunities for urban teachers to experience living and working in a rural or remote community through the Teacher Experience program; and the training of parents and home tutors of School of Distance Education students to support their child’s reading through the Partners in Learning program.

Norfolk Island Service Delivery

In October 2021, the Australian and Queensland Governments entered into a partnership agreement to provide state-level services to Norfolk Island, which were previously provided by the New South Wales (NSW) Government.

During 2021–22, we:

  • worked with the Australian Government to execute the Education Service Schedule and supported the application of Queensland education laws on Norfolk Island
  • transferred 3 NSW Government teachers to the Queensland state schooling system and employed 10 teachers from Queensland
  • entered an information sharing agreement with the NSW Government for secure student, staff and corporate data transfer
  • collaborated with the Norfolk Council of Elders and Norfolk Island Central School Parents and Citizens’ Association to enter a joint agreement to preserve, promote and revitalise the Norfolk language and culture program at the Norfolk Island Central School.

Supporting our LGBTIQ+ students

Queensland state schools are committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer or questioning (LGBTIQ+) students’ wellbeing is nurtured and supported.

Schools are provided with a range of resources and support to achieve this. In 2022, we continued our partnership with True Relationships and Reproductive Health (True) to provide school and regional staff with access to expert advice and training about supporting LGBTIQ+ students.

We have dedicated departmental resources to assist schools, parents and students to create safe, supportive and inclusive environments for LGBTIQ+ students, including guidance materials, fact sheets, and a diversity policy template.

To support their wellbeing and mental health, students can access assistance and support from a range of services, including guidance officers, school-based youth health nurses, community liaison officers, student welfare workers, and youth support workers, as well as wellbeing professionals provided through the Student Wellbeing Package, outlined below.

Supporting resources for students (PDF, 384KB) and resources for parents (PDF, 288KB) are available.

Supporting student wellbeing

On 1 July 2021, a 3-year, $106.7 million Student Wellbeing Package commenced as part of a Queensland Government election commitment to:

  • employ up to 464 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) psychologists and similar professionals to ensure every Queensland state school student has access to a wellbeing professional at school
  • pilot a program placing general practitioners (GPs) in 50 state schools with secondary-aged students one day per week.

As at 30 June 2022:

  • a total of 92.28 FTEs were employed through the Student Wellbeing Package to support the provision of additional support for students’ mental health in schools
  • 27 of the 50 schools selected to participate in the GPs in Schools Pilot commenced providing a GP service to students in their school.

In 2021–22, $250,000 was allocated to headspace to continue providing suicide prevention and postvention training to all new secondary Guidance Officers and build the capability of school staff in identifying and responding to early warning signs of students’ mental health and wellbeing concerns.

Queensland Engagement and Wellbeing Survey

The Queensland Engagement and Wellbeing (QEW) Survey collects information from Queensland state schools to gain a better understanding of student engagement and wellbeing. The survey measures a wide variety of engagement and wellbeing indicators and student experiences at school.

The survey is offered to schools on a voluntary basis each year during Term 2 for students in grades 4 to 12. In 2022, more than 86,000 students from 436 schools participated, with school reports distributed in June.

This year, to make the survey more inclusive and increase the numbers of students sharing their experience of schooling, we began development of customised versions of the survey for students facing barriers to accessing the tool. We are using a co-design approach to include measures of the cultural aspects of wellbeing for Aboriginal students and Torres Strait Islander students.

New adolescent mental health and education facilities

As a response to the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry, Queensland Health and the department have established new adolescent mental health facilities with integrated education programs for students aged 13–18 years:

  • Jacaranda Place, Queensland adolescent extended treatment centre – a statewide service based in Brisbane
  • Yangah Adolescent Day Program, located in the Gold Coast
  • Logan Adolescent Day Program, located across the whole Logan region.

The new adolescent mental health facilities form part of the department’s statewide hospital education model, which includes 22 education programs located in hospitals or health sites across Queensland.

The department is committed to educational delivery that provides students with chronic health or complex mental health needs specialised and appropriate educational support at all stages of their illness.

Supporting students with disability

The department remains committed to supporting the wellbeing and success of students with disability by providing inclusive and equitable education.

In 2021–22, the department finalised the implementation of the Queensland Disability Review’s 17 recommendations. The final recommendation to review the students with disability resourcing model was completed in June 2022, with the public release of the new Students with disability—reasonable adjustments resourcing model.

The new model recognises all disabilities, applies to all state school settings and provides additional teachers and teacher aides based on the levels of adjustments students need to access and participate in education. To support early intervention, it also provides higher levels of resourcing for Prep students and for students with the most complex needs.

State schools will transition to the new model over 2023 and 2024 with the Queensland Government committing $80.6 million to support the transition.

Guiding the next phase of reform is the Every student with disability succeeding plan 2021–2025 (PDF, 14MB). A key aim of the new plan is to support the wellbeing and success of every student with disability, committing to implementing 45 actions that focus on: building inclusive cultures; the capability of our staff; and collaboration with students, families and communities.

Supporting the success of Deaf and hard of hearing students

In September 2021, the Every Deaf and hard of hearing student succeeding 2021–2025 framework (PDF, 625KB) was launched, coinciding with the International Week of Deaf People. The framework outlines that every Deaf or hard of hearing student receives quality, accessible education supporting improved outcomes, language access and enhanced wellbeing. Four key priorities underpin our plan and guide our actions:

  • improving language and literacy
  • providing access to appropriate quality pedagogy
  • supporting effective transitions and early years programs
  • increasing engagement and wellbeing of students, families, staff and communities.

Share the Dignity Partnership

On 1 July 2021, a 3-year, $2.5 million Share the Dignity in Queensland Schools initiative commenced as part of a Queensland Government election commitment. In partnership with the Share the Dignity charity, this initiative supports students in 120 state and non-state schools to access free sanitary products at school through installation of Dignity Vending Machines. During 2021–22, Dignity Vending Machines were installed in 62 schools (53 state schools and 9 non-state schools).

The partnership provides all Queensland schools with access to the Period Talk education program. This program, aimed at students in Year 5 to Year 8, educates students about menstruation and the impact of periods.

As part of the 2022–23 Budget, the Government announced it will expand the initiative to provide all Queensland state schools, outdoor and environmental education centres and student residential facilities the opportunity to provide free sanitary products to students.

Homework Centres

In 2021–22, the rollout of free Homework Centres commenced across 120 Queensland state schools. This is part of an $8 million commitment over 4-years to provide a safe, supervised environment for students to complete their homework and better support busy families.

Managed by school principals, Homework Centres provide a suitable learning environment where students from any year level can complete their homework before they go home from school. The Centres encourage good study habits, provide additional learning time for students with their peers, and provide participating students with a healthy snack.

A list of Queensland state schools hosting a Homework Centre can be accessed is available.

Reading and Writing Disorders Service at the Reading and Writing Centre

The department’s Reading and Writing Centre provides specialist advice to parents and educators on the prevention, identification and support of reading and writing disorders, with a specific focus on dyslexia. A key part of the centre’s work is to support schools to make informed, evidence-based decisions regarding the teaching and learning of reading and writing for all students, including students with disabilities, across all year levels and curriculum areas.

The centre’s reading and writing disorders service operates an advisory line which provides specialist advice to parents, school leaders and educators about support and strategies for students with reading and writing disorders, including dyslexia and developmental language disorder.

State schools are allocated resources to support all students with disability to access learning. Schools can access the expertise of speech language pathologists, support teachers (literacy and numeracy) and guidance officers to develop a reader profile which identifies an individual student’s strengths and challenges in reading and writing development.

School Performance Planning and data-informed practice

School leaders are encouraged to take a collaborative, inquiry-led approach in developing the strategic direction of their school.

In 2021–22, the School Performance Policy suite was implemented in schools. The suite includes a policy and procedure; schedule of annual actions; and additional advice to support principals in school performance planning, monitoring, reviewing and reporting.

This assists school leaders to work with the school community to produce the short and long-term plans that outline the school's improvement agenda towards maximising the achievement and wellbeing of every student.

The School performance policy is available and advice is provided to employees to support development of performance plans.

Schools of the future: A strategy for STEM in Queensland state schools

In 2022, the STEM Girl Power initiative returned to a face-to-face camp and regional activities widening awareness of learning and career pathways, building the skills of Year 10 students as STEM ambassadors and connecting students with positive and diverse role models across a range of cutting-edge STEM industries. The initiative has now directly reached 380 students with thousands reached across the state through regional activities during National Science Week.

The Premier’s Coding Challenge showcases the state’s best and brightest coders in Years 3 to 10 as students create digital solutions to real world challenges. The program has expanded to build partnerships with the tech industry through expert judges and mentoring sessions for winning students and their teachers to take their solutions to the next level.

The STEM Industry Partnerships Forum provides opportunities for the department to collaborate with the STEM industry, employers, government agencies and universities to develop a shared vision for STEM education in Queensland. The initiative has showcased examples of effective partnerships both primary and secondary state schools are creating to contextualise their STEM teaching and learning, develop the skills valued by industry and create STEM pathways for their students.

Queensland Virtual STEM Academy

The Queensland Virtual STEM Academy (QVSA) operates across a network of five selected Queensland state schools and is coordinated by the Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology (QASMT) –​ Queensland’s premier STEM specialist school.

QVSA courses expand and enhance STEM opportunities for highly capable students in Years 5 to 9 through enriching and challenging courses aligned to the Australian Curriculum. The courses aim to develop students’ abilities to become curious inquirers, 21st century learners, and confident and capable digital learners.

In 2021, students participated in 55 Grand Challenge courses and 65 Skill Builder courses. Grand Challenge courses engage students as they deeply explore some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and work collaboratively with other students and experts to develop STEM solutions. Skill Builder courses focus on developing deep discipline understanding, enhanced skills or specific approaches that are core to navigating and exploring the fields of STEM. Importantly, the learning is embedded in authentic contexts.

The QVSA also seeks to enhance opportunities and aspirations of female, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, rural and remote and socio-disadvantaged students. In 2021, through its network of five host schools, QVSA provided 1,600 hours of enriched learning across 138 state schools (79 rural and remote) to 2,098 students (1,210 rural and remote; 192 Aboriginal students and Torres Strait Islander students; and 1,134 female).​

EDTV: State Schools Education Television

EDTV targets the engine room of school improvement — effective pedagogical practices, expert teaching teams and systematic curriculum delivery. EDTV provides on-demand professional development for teachers, resources, examples of school improvement and showcase of best practice to help scale up what works.

Since 2021, there have been 27 episodes released, comprising 140 videos, collaborating with 64 schools, across all 7 regions. There are currently 2,926 subscribers to the EDTV newsletter with 63,021 total views across the EDTV website and the department’s YouTube channel.

School Online Reporting Dashboard

The School Online Reporting Dashboard (SORD) was launched across Queensland in 2021 to allows users to view and analyse the most recent school data at any time. This includes performance measures and more in-depth analysis of school data.

Since its inception the SORD community has grown to over 5,000 users across the state in schools, regions and corporate teams.

SORD is continuing to incorporate more data to meet user needs and deliver further benefits including the following enhancements:

  • a new School Opinion Survey report to present annual survey data
  • incorporating the QEW Survey into SORD providing greater visibility of student engagement and wellbeing data
  • developing an Early Years K–2 report to bring together data from schools, kindergarten and early childhood services to support successful transitions and learning in the early years.

Service area performance

Objective: Queensland students engaged in learning, achieving and successfully transitioning into further education, training and work.

Description: Delivering Prep to Year 12 in Queensland state schools to prepare young people for successful transitions into further education, training and work administering funding to Queensland non-state schools.

School Education performance measures

School Education2021–22 target/estimate2021–22 actual
Service area​​​​

Effectiveness measures​

Year 3 Test—Proportion of students at or above the National Minimum Standard1​
​Reading (all students)​95%​94.1%
​​Writing (all students)​96%​94.3%
​​Numeracy (all students)​96%​93.9%
Reading (​Indigenous students)​87%​83.7%
​Writing (​Indigenous students)​90%​84.7%
​Numeracy (​Indigenous students)​88%​81.6%
Year 5 Test—Proportion of students at or above the National Minimum Standard1
​Reading (all students)95%​92.6%​
​​Writing (all students)​90%​88%
​​Numeracy (all students)95%92.7%
Reading (​Indigenous students)88%78.4%​
​Writing (​Indigenous students)​77%​72%
​Numeracy (​Indigenous students)86%​​​76.8%​
Year 7 Test—Proportion of students at or above the National Minimum Standard1
​Reading (all students)95%​​90.5%
​​Writing (all students)​92%83.4%
​​Numeracy (all students)96%89.5%
Reading (​Indigenous students)88%​77.3%
​Writing (​Indigenous students)​78%64.8%​
​Numeracy (​Indigenous students)​91%​72%
​​Year 9 Test—Proportion of stud​ents at or above the National Minimum Standard1
​Reading (all students)​90%82.9%​
​​Writing (all students)86%​72%
​​Numeracy (all students)96%91%
Reading (​Indigenous students)78%65.7%​
​Writing (​Indigenous students)​69%49.4%
​Numeracy (​Indigenous students)​91%79.1%
Proportion of Year 12 students awarded Certification i.e. Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement 298%97.4%
Proportion of Year 12 students who are completing or have completed a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship or were awarded one or more of: QCE, International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) or Vocational Education and Training qualification 298%97.4%
Proportion of students who, 6 months after completing Year 12, are participating in education, training or employment88%
Proportion of parents satisfied with their child's school94%91.8%

Efficiency measure

Average cost of service per student
Primary (Prep to Year 6)​$16,113​$16,159
Secondary (Year 7 to Year 12)​​$16,045​$16,854
​Students with disability 3New measure​New measure​

Discontinued measure

Average cost of service per student
​ Students with disability 4​$31,994​$31,999


  1. NAPLAN National Minimum Standard targets represent the aspirational goals for achievement against these measures and should be read in conjunction with other NAPLAN data, which show a broad improvement trajectory since testing commenced.
  2. The 2021–22 actual reflects data for 2021 graduates provided by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority as at February 2022.
  3. The new measure for the Average cost of service per student: Students with Disability uses data collected via the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability and resources a greater number of students than the previous methodology.
  4. This measure has been discontinued as the Department of Education transitions from its allocation methodology using data collected through the Education Adjustment Program. The measure has been replaced with a new measure with the same title.​
Last updated 18 April 2023