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A chronology of education in Queensland

1824-1850 | 1851-1875 | 1876-1900 | 1901-1925 | 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2000-2011



  • The Advisory Council for Special Education was appointed to advise the Minister in matters relating to special education.
  • The Committee on Residential Care Education Projects (CORCEP) created to advise on disbursement of Schools Commission funds for residential care.


  • The Bardon Professional Development Centre opened in Brisbane.
  • The Division of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) came into existence with the integration of technical and adult education.
  • The State Development Committee, administering Schools Commission funds for in-service education, acquired a full time secretariat.


  • The Scott Report, A Review of School-Based Assessment in Queensland Secondary Schools (ROSBA), recommended that the norm-based system of secondary school assessment be changed to a competency-based system.
  • The 1978 Review of Teacher Education in Queensland (the Bassett Report) was published.
  • A Parliamentary Select Committee chaired by Mr M. I. Ahern, MLA, met to investigate the State education system and the extent to which it fulfilled the expectations of students, parents and the community.


  • A system of internal assessment was inaugurated in TAFE colleges.

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  • The final report of the Ahern Select Committee was presented.


  • The first phase of ROSBA was implemented.
  • The school year changed from three to four terms. Teachers attended three pupil free days per year.
  • An advisory committee on computer assisted learning was established.


  • The Principals and Change in service program was expanded.
  • The Queensland Writing Project was introduced.
  • The primary Science syllabus and sourcebooks for Years 1-5 were distributed.
  • Phases 1 and 2 of ROSBA were implemented.


  • The Division of Planning and Services was replaced by the Division of Planning and Special Programs and the Division of Curriculum Services.
  • The implementation of the new primary Science syllabus continued.
  • A new method for teaching handwriting was adopted.
  • The trend in secondary education to offer programs fully integrated into secondary curricula linking secondary and TAFE continued.

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  • The Department of Education's management and operations was systematically reviewed.
  • The Peninsula Region was formed.
  • A Technology Services Unit was established.
  • A Ministerial Advisory Committee on Distance Education was appointed.
  • The Divisions of Preschool and Special Education expanded their services.
  • The Division of Special Education accepted responsibility for services to all handicapped children from birth to 18 years. More severely and profoundly handicapped children entered special education facilities while many, with less severe handicaps, would be mainstreamed into regular classrooms.
  • The Secondary Computer Literacy Project was introduced.


  • The discussion paper, Education 2000: Issues and options for the future of Education in Queensland was released.
  • The use of technology to enhance distance education, work in schools and educational administration was supported.
  • Approval was given for schools to alter the placement of the three pupil free days.
  • The Department of Education developed a policy on the education of gifted children.


  • The age of first attendance at primary school increased. Children had to turn five years by 31 January to be eligible for enrolment in Year One.
  • There was an expansion of the curriculum in secondary schools and TAFE colleges evident in the further development of co-operative secondary-TAFE programs.
  • The Advisory Committee which reviewed submissions made in response to Education 2000 reported to the Minister.
  • The distance education trial began through the Mt Isa School of the Air.
  • A preschool to Year 10 (P-10) syllabus framework was developed.

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  • Children had to turn five years by 31 December to be eligible for enrolment in Year One in the following year.
  • The Department of Education launched a series of documents entitled, Meeting the Challenge which highlighted a corporate style of management.
  • The Department reshaped its central administration by strengthening the role of the Policy Committee, appointing a Chief Inspector and adopting comprehensive strategic planning processes.
  • In regions, initiatives were built on the commitment to decentralisation, while further devolution of responsibility occurred in the operational management of educational programs.
  • Two new education regions were formed (South Coast and Sunshine Coast regional offices).
  • The P-10 curriculum framework was developed and curriculum documents revised.
  • The Roma Middle School opened and catered for students in Years 4-10.
  • A post-compulsory college, the Alexandra Hills Senior College opened.
  • Two new centres of distance education opened at Longreach and Charters Towers.


  • The Inspectorate was regionalised.
  • There was continued development of an integrated P-10 curriculum.
  • The senior secondary curriculum was broadened to cater for all learners.
  • Cooperative programs between secondary schools and TAFE colleges were conducted.
  • The use of computers and information technology in schools was given a high priority.


  • A new Education Act 1989 was enacted.
  • The Department of Education's first strategic plan was adopted.
  • Decisions about school budgets were devolved to the school level.
  • There was an amalgamation of correspondence schools which became the School of Distance Education - Brisbane Centre P-12.
  • The first high school built to a new design opened at Bribie Island.
  • New prototype buildings for preschool, primary and special education units were assessed.

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  • A comprehensive internal review of the Department of Education commenced through the consultation process, Education Have Your Say.
  • Professor Nancy Viviani reviewed Tertiary Entrance and produced the report, A Review of Tertiary Entrance in Queensland.
  • The Offices of Higher Education and Non-State Schooling were established.
  • The Department developed The Corporate Vision for Senior Schooling in Queensland to accommodate the diverse needs of students in Years 11 and 12.
  • The first entire primary school based on the new building model opened to students.


  • The report, Focus on Schools was released. A major restructure of the Department of Education followed.
  • The Public Sector Management Commission (PSMC) reviewed the Department of Education including its role, operations, responsibilities and management.
  • Greater responsibilities were devolved to 11 regions for resource, financial administration and human resource management.
  • A new English Language Arts Syllabus was introduced.
  • Priority was given to expanding languages other than English (LOTE).
  • The Viviani Report recommended the establishment of the Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority (TEPA).
  • Consultants were engaged to assist in the development of an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) management plan.
  • Employment Opportunity (EEO) management plan.
  • The Equity Directorate (Workforce and Studies) was established. A social justice strategy was developed.
  • The PSMC developed guidelines for recruitment and selection based on merit and equity principles.
  • The inspectorate ended.

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  • The phasing out of corporal punishment commenced.
  • There was a reduction in the size of the Department of Education's central office.
  • The first steps were taken towards the establishment of school advisory councils, school support centres and the introduction of the forum concept.
  • Forty five school support centres and two state-wide support centres were created.
  • An Advanced Skills Teacher classification was introduced and implemented.
  • Social justice strategies covering gender equity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and early childhood education were endorsed.
  • The TE Score was replaced by the Student Education Profile.


  • The devolution of decision making to the school level continued within the 3 year trial of school advisory councils.
  • A review of the Department's devolution process was undertaken.
  • A wide ranging review of the Queensland curriculum commenced. The review panel, headed by Professor Wiltshire was asked to make recommendations on the content and management of the curriculum.
  • The Computers in Schools Project provided some students with access to computers.

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  • The panel conducting the review of the Queensland curriculum released its report, Shaping the Future.
  • Parent development officers were appointed in every region.
  • Priority areas in education were reaffirmed including literacy, numeracy, Languages Other Than English (LOTE) and computer education.
  • The Equity Directorate was discontinued.
  • The Bardon Professional Development Centre ceased operations.


  • The report, Shaping the Future was endorsed and resulted in curriculum reforms. The Report emphasised the early identification and remediation of literacy and numeracy difficulties and the assessment of the attainments of students at various stages to ensure standards were maintained.
  • Accordingly, the Year 2 Diagnostic Net and Year 6 Test were developed and introduced for trials in all state schools in 1995.
  • Two new curriculum structures were established including the Queensland Curriculum Council and the Queensland School Curriculum Office (QSCO).
  • Three strands of the Student Performance Standards (SPS) in mathematics were implemented.
  • The convergence of general and vocational education in Years 11 and 12 signalled a significant shift in the nature of the senior secondary curriculum.
  • Corporal punishment was abolished.


  • The devolution of decision making as closely as possible to the point of service continued.
  • There was increased emphasis on improving student learning outcomes and reporting.
  • Trials of the Year 2 Diagnostic Net and the Year 6 literacy and numeracy tests commenced. Individual reports were prepared for parents on the Year 2 Diagnostic Net and Year 6 literacy and numeracy tests as well as on Student Performance Standards in maths for students in Years 3-8.
  • One hour of non-contact time was introduced for primary and special education teachers.
  • A range of behaviour management strategies were implemented in schools.
  • The Queensland School Curriculum Council (QSCC) was established as a statutory authority, replacing QSCO.

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  • The name, Education Queensland was introduced.
  • The Leading Schools program to implement school based management was announced.
  • The new strategic plan, Partners for Excellence was affected.
  • The 'Computers in schools' project was completed. A further commitment was given to the adoption of technology with the proposed Schooling 2001 project over 1997-2000.
  • The Reading Recovery Program designed to support students in Years 2 and 3 was implemented. A Reading Recovery Training Centre was established.
  • The School Management System (SMS) was implemented in all schools.
  • The Cool Schools program to air-condition school resource centres and provide passive heat reduction in other school buildings began at 197 schools in North Queensland.


  • A Centre for Teaching Excellence was established.
  • District Offices replaced regional education office structures.
  • Facility Service Centres commenced operation.
  • The phasing out of School Support Centres was completed.
  • A new School Planning and Accountability Framework was introduced.
  • The Schooling 2001 project was established.
  • The Reading Recovery Program was extended.
  • Twenty three new Year 11-12 syllabuses were trialled in schools.
  • New syllabuses for Science, Health and Physical Education for Years 1-10 were trialled in 100 schools.
  • Most state high schools offered at least two vocationally oriented subjects.
  • The Building Better Schools initiative improved learning environments by refurbishing some primary classrooms, providing additional shade at some primary schools and constructing facilities for students with disabilities at some schools.

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  • The strategy, Queensland State Education: 2010 - The next decade: A discussion about the future of Queensland state schools was released and sought to promote discussion about the nature and purpose of education. A state-wide consultation process commenced.
  • Education Queensland conducted a major consultation process on models of school based management.
  • The Schooling 2000 project upgraded school computer facilities and the IT skills of teachers.
  • New literacy and numeracy tests for Year 3 and 5 students in all states and territories began against agreed benchmarks.
  • New Preschool Guidelines were implemented.
  • The Reading Recovery program was extended.


  • Queensland State Education: 2010 strategy was endorsed.
  • The Secondary Schools Renewal Program commenced.
  • The New Basics Framework for learning, teaching and assessment was conceptualised.
  • The Partners for Success strategy was initiated to improve learning outcomes and Year 12 completion rates for Indigenous students.
  • A learning framework and management process, The Three Frames was introduced to support Queensland State Education - 2010.
  • An inaugural Year 7 test was held.
  • The Learning and Development Foundation was established.

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Last reviewed
10 January 2013
Last updated
10 January 2013