Queensland state schools provide for 40 school weeks each year, with the rare exception of a 41-week year on a cyclical basis. Student holidays are based on an annual two-semester timetable as follows:
- Summer holiday: 6 weeks during the Christmas period
- Easter holiday: 2 weeks before, following or inclusive of the Easter public holidays
- Winter holiday: 2 weeks at the end of semester 1
- Spring holiday: 2 weeks in the middle of semester 2
Schools situated north of 16 degrees south latitude and west of 144 degrees east longitude begin the summer holiday one week before schools in other parts of the state.
The 4 school terms are set to ensure they are as balanced in length as possible, averaging 10 weeks for each term and avoiding unduly long terms.
The annual finishing dates for year levels are as follows:
- Prep to Year 9 in state schools and all year levels in special schools finish on the last day of term 4
- except in special schools, Years 10 and 11 finish 2 weeks before the end of term 4
- except in special schools, Year 12 finishes usually 3 and sometimes 4 weeks before the end of term 4, as determined by a calculation contained in the Education (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) Regulation 2014.
In addition to school holidays and public holidays, schools close for 1 extra day each year which will be either:
In a location where a show holiday is not appointed, employees may negotiate with the department to treat another working day as a show holiday for all purposes. Following consultation with the school community, the local consultative committee and neighbouring schools, the school principal informs the regional director of the agreed day.
An additional day will not be allocated in a location where a show holiday falls within the scheduled school holidays.