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Transforming the way we do business

2020 Ready

To prepare our schools for 2020—the year high schools will have six full cohorts of students—we have invested $250 million over 2-years from 2017–18 for additional facilities.

Flagstone State Community College

Among these facilities is the $6.1 million Jude Fox Learning Hub at Flagstone State Community College, opened in March 2019.

The learning hub is a collection of one-level buildings with 5 new classrooms, 5 special education areas, a therapy room and a life skills area with kitchen facilities.

These state-of-the-art facilities are dedicated to the school's much admired founding principal, Jude Fox, who passed away in 2018. A devoted and passionate educator, Mrs Fox believed every student had the right to a quality education, and was an advocate for personalised learning experiences and modern facilities.

The innovative spaces will help teachers at Flagstone deliver world-class educational opportunities, while catering for the differing learning needs of students.

Highfields State Secondary College

To accommodate the rapidly growing Highfields State Secondary College student population, Stage 3 of the college campus was completed in July 2018. This final stage of the new campus delivered a new multipurpose sports hall with sports court and a kinesiology room; and a new two-storey secondary learning centre, providing eight learning spaces. The works were completed at a cost of $7 million. The Darling Downs school first opened in 2015, with a new year-level added each year until 2019, when it reached its full complement of year levels.

We are building for the future, delivering new schools and expanding existing schools in growth areas

A brand new primary school—Spring Mountain State School— welcomed its first students when it opened for the school year in January 2019. Facilities at the school include 30 contemporary classrooms, music and science rooms, a resource centre and multipurpose hall, administration building, canteen, uniform shop and a large oval for school sport and physical activities.

A further 8 new schools are under construction to open for the 2020 school year:

  • a state primary school at Ripley Valley
  • state secondary schools in:
    • Calliope
    • Coomera
    • Fortitude Valley
    • Mango Hill
    • Ripley Valley
    • Yarrabilba
    • a new special school in Caboolture.

The $1.3 billion Building Future Schools Fund will also deliver 5 new schools for 2021, including:

  • state primary schools in Palmview and Pimpama
  • a state secondary school in Baringa (Caloundra South)
  • a state secondary college in Dutton Park
  • a new special school in Palmview.

New schools in focus

Fortitude Valley State Secondary College

We are building the first new inner-city state secondary school in over 50 years, with the new Fortitude Valley State Secondary College to open to Year 7 students in 2020. The school will occupy the site of the former Fortitude Valley State School and will relieve enrolment pressures from sustained population growth in Brisbane's inner city.

The $126.5 million school will be delivered in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology and will be opened in a staged approach:

  • Brookes Street Precinct—ready for the start of Term 1, 2020
  • St Pauls Terrace Precinct—ready during 2020
  • Future Secondary Learning Precinct—ready for Term 1, 2023.

$62 million new secondary school for the Gold Coast

We are ensuring that school infrastructure keeps pace with the Gold Coast's rapidly growing population, with the ceremonial first sod turned on a $62.1 million new secondary school at Coomera on 24 April 2019.

Foxwell State Secondary College will open to Year 7 for the 2020 school year, with stage one of the campus to include junior classrooms, a covered lunch area, sports centre and oval.

The state-of-the-art new secondary school is located on Foxwell Road and named in honour of the Foxwell family, who were important pioneers in the Coomera community.

Renewing our schools

In 2018–19, we commenced the four-year Renewing Our Schools program. This program is a $235 million renewal and refurbishment program providing state schools with improved learning facilities and opportunities for stronger engagement in their communities.

We conducted site visits and completed detailed consultation with all nominated schools, ready to progress the work.
Early minor works have been completed at Aspley State High School, Heatley Secondary College, Mansfield
State High School and Springwood State High School.

Maryborough State High School will also benefit from the program, with an $11 million investment to enhance facilities:

  • increased connectivity between campuses and improved safety by upgrading the Kent Street pedestrian crossing
  • refurbishment of learning and open spaces, sports field upgrade and new carpark
  • a whole-of-campus communications upgrade and an audio visual package for the hall
  • two new buildings, including a Special Education Unit
  • renewal of the home economics block.

Providing mobile technology platforms for disaster recovery

Our Mobile Disaster Response Trailers are self-contained information technology (IT) platforms that can be easily deployed anywhere in the state. The trailers provide wi-fi internet access, laptop computers and connectivity to online resources via satellite or high-speed cellular communications, to support schools and communities in the event of a disaster.

Trailers are based in Cairns, Brisbane and now Mackay, thanks to Mitsubishi Development Corporation, which donated a Disaster Relief IT Trailer to the department in 2018.

The trailers were most recently used in February 2019 in Townsville, to help with flood recovery activities at Hermit Park State School and William Ross State High School. The trailer's generator provided the IT recovery team with access to IT systems, allowing them to test the condition of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and devices at the schools.

Delivering access to digital learning resources

We are committed to delivering access to the best digital learning resources to all students in our state schools. The department has invested $45 million across five years to upgrade and extend wireless access to the network for both students and staff in schools, with $9 million spent in 2018–19.

Our investment in the Wireless Upgrade Project is designed to provide and improve wireless coverage in state schools and enable greater flexibility for teaching and learning.

Leveraging innovation to improve our services

In December 2018, we led the launch of the National EAL/D Online Hub—an online professional development resource for teachers. The project was a joint initiative of experts from Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia Governments.

The hub helps build the skills of educators to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have first languages other than Standard Australian English (SAE) and are learning SAE as an additional language or dialect.

It is designed to guide teachers to recognise and respect the language backgrounds of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and to communicate, teach and learn in culturally appropriate ways through tasks, content, stories, quizzes and videos.

Widening university participation

In 2018–19, we collaborated with universities to encourage wider participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, in tertiary study. Seven Queensland universities signed the Widening Tertiary Participation in Queensland 2018–19 Memorandum of Understanding with the department—Australian Catholic University, Central Queensland University, Griffith University, James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast.

The memorandum commits the department to implement outreach projects in state schools—with each university working with a cluster of schools with high levels of socio-economic disadvantage and low rates of post-school transition to tertiary study. The department also committed to hosting the university-funded Widening Participation Project Manager, providing universities with data to assist them to target schools, and supporting project implementation and monitoring of outcomes.

Reviewing NAPLAN

In 2018, the Queensland Government commissioned a two-phase review of NAPLAN to better understand its impact on Queensland students, parents and schools.

Phase 1 of the review was led by Dr Gabrielle Matters and obtained the views of over 7,500 Queensland parents and carers. Phase 2 was conducted by the Australian Catholic University and focused on the views of students, teachers, principals and system authorities. Responses were received from approximately 5,800 teachers and principals, 3,000 students and 200 education stakeholders.

The review identified some positive impacts of NAPLAN, but highlighted differing expectations about its purpose and use, along with a range of unintended consequences. Particular concerns were raised about the time spent on test preparation, narrowing of the curriculum and impact on student and teacher wellbeing.

The review reports and government response were released in March 2019, with the response outlining actions to address the review findings, to be rolled out in time to support NAPLAN in 2020.

Queensland will also work with New South Wales and Victoria on a broader NAPLAN review, to build on the findings of both the Queensland review and the review of NAPLAN Data Presentation.

Annual Indigenous Symposium

The topic of the Indigenous Symposium held on 14 June 2019 was 'Our stories, our way: cultural identities and health and wellbeing of Indigenous young people in diverse school settings'. The presenters shared their findings from a three-year study funded by the Lowitja Institute that explored identity, health, education and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in diverse school settings.

Developing the whole-of-government Early Years Plan

In 2018–19, work continued to progress the Queensland Government's election commitment to develop a whole-of-government Early Years Plan that supports Queensland children’s early learning and development.

Multiple agencies across government are contributing to the development of the plan, including Education, Health, Premier and Cabinet, Queensland Treasury, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Housing and Public Works, Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland Police Service, Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

The plan will outline the Queensland Government's vision for young children in Queensland, consistent with the Give all our children a great start priority in Our Future State: Advancing Queensland's Priorities. It will set out actions to support children from conception to eight years of age and aim to ensure Queensland children are supported throughout periods of rapid development, from conception through the early years of learning and in the first years of a child's school education.

Facilitating research to support evidence generation

We continued to administer the $1 million Education Horizon research grant scheme in 2018. The scheme funded high-quality local research aligned with the government's Our Future State: Advancing Queensland's Priorities and the department's priority research themes. These included empowered, diverse learners, health and wellbeing, pedagogy, curriculum and assessment, leadership, lifelong learning and community. Twelve Queensland researchers received funding in 2018 across a range of early childhood education and care, schooling and open grants categories.

Influencing the national agenda

In 2018–19, we negotiated on national strategies, action plans, agreements and implementation plans including:

  • National Partnership Agreement—Universal Access to Early Childhood 2019
  • New National School Reform and school funding agreements (including a bilateral agreement)
  • National School Chaplaincy Program Project Agreement
  • National School for Travelling Show Children Memorandum of Understanding.

Investing $107 billion to fund state schools education

On 13 December 2018, the Queensland and Australian governments signed a bilateral agreement which will see
a record $107.3 billion invested in Queensland's state schools from 2018 to 2027, based on enrolment projections.
Queensland will provide around $85 billion of this funding, with the Commonwealth providing $22.7 billion.

This historic funding agreement allows us to continue to invest in quality education and support our ambitious education
reform agenda to improve education outcomes for all students.

A number of state-specific reforms are set out in the bilateral agreement, including implementation of the new senior
assessment and tertiary entrance system, a comprehensive leadership capability program for state school leaders and
expansion of Queensland’s school improvement agenda.

Delivering contemporary legislation and minimising risk

During 2018–19, we:

  • created a formal, legislated certification process for teachers under the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Amendment Act 2019, which also enables the Queensland College of Teachers to perform the role of certifying authority for highly accomplished teachers and lead teachers.
  • supported implementation of the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system through progression of amendments to the Education (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) Regulation 2014.

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.

Audit and Risk Management Committee

As required by section 30 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2019, the department has established an Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC).

The department's ARMC provides independent advice to the Director-General in the discharge of his responsibilities under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 on matters relating to the financial statements, risk management, internal control, performance management, internal audit and external audit, compliance and reporting within the scope of its duties and responsibilities.

The ARMC meets on a quarterly basis and has observed the terms of its charter, having had due regard to Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines. In addition, the committee has monitored 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, responsibilities
and achievements for 2018–19, are available in Appendix F.

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.

In late 2018, the Customer Complaints Management System (CCMS) was introduced. CCMS is an enterprise solution for
customer complaints management and complies with the framework, policy and procedure.

The department manages customer complaints in an accountable, transparent, timely and fair manner. We are committed to promoting better practice and focused on continuous improvement across our schools, regions and divisions. The department's customer complaints data (XLSX, 17KB) is available.

Internal Audit

Internal Audit provides risk-based audit and advisory services across the department, including centralised and regional
functions, information systems and 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 has realised opportunities to be more agile in its service delivery, and now develops a 6+6 month audit
plan using various inputs, including departmental priorities, strategic and operational risks, and stakeholder consultation.
By creating a 6+6 month audit plan, Internal Audit is able to better respond to changing demands and reprioritise audits to
ensure it incorporates any emerging risks identified throughout the year. The plan is endorsed by the ARMC and approved by the Director-General.

During 2018–19, Internal Audit completed:

  • 358 school audits including full scope and follow-up audits
  • 26 general and operational audits
  • 3 information systems audits.

Internal Audit also:

  • 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 payroll rate changes
  • validated actions taken by management to address internal audit and QAO findings
  • completed 85 school health checks as part of a pilot program.

During 2018–19, Internal Audit completed a risk-based 6+6 month audit plan incorporating key enterprise and strategic risks across the department. It also implemented a revised school audit report rating system from January 2019 to reframe conversations with an improvement-focused outcome.

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 2018–19 financial year is available in Appendix E.

Information security

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

In 2018–19, we:

  • undertook multiple security awareness campaigns, which included technical assessments and in-person awareness sessions with technical school staff, and updated the online Bee iSecure campaign
  • participated in War Game simulations run by the Queensland Government Chief Information Office to further 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 and we look to increase this further in the 2020 financial year.

We also formed an Information Security Policy, Management System and Governance Committee to embed our approach to identifying and managing risks to information, applications and technologies consistent with the Queensland Government's Information Security policy (IS18:2018).

Records management (information systems and recordkeeping)

Section 7 of the Public Records Act 2002 requires the department to 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 2018–19, we:

  • updated records management policies and procedures and promoted training and awareness programs
  • reviewed and improved internal processes regarding access to and security and control of departmental records
  • commenced work on responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published report, and on processes to respond to requests for information under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
  • worked with Queensland State Archives and other industry stakeholders to progress the development of the Education and Training Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule for State Archivist approval.

Statutory bodies and portfolio entitiesStatutory bodies and portfolio entities - The Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations oversee the Qld Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Advisory Committee, the Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce, the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board, the Queensland College of Teachers, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, the QIRC/QLD Industrial Court, the WorkCover Board, the QLeave Board, the Electrical Safety Board, the Workplace Health & Safety Board and the Queensland Industrial Relations Consultative Committee.

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 annual report and Queensland Register of Appointees to Government Bodies.

Consultancies, language services and overseas travel

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

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Last updated
29 November 2019