History topics


School admission and progression age

In 1875, the primary school admission age of children was not less than 6 years of age. The school admission age in 2008 is that children must be 5 years-old by 30 June in the year they enrol in prep. The school admission and progression age table shows the typical age of admission and compulsory attendance, typical class organisation and recommended completion times of schooling.

Oldest state schools in Queensland

The oldest primary school in Queensland, Warwick East State School, opened in 1850. Formerly Warwick National School, it was designated as a world heritage site in 1992.  The oldest secondary school, Gympie State High School, opened in 1912. View a list the oldest state schools in Queensland that are still open today.

Queensland School Readers

The Queensland School Readers are fondly remembered by many in the community as the 'Red Reader's. They were introduced into schools in 1915 after a long search for reading material appropriate to Queensland. This was the first time a set of readers was specifically written for Queensland school children.

The end of the Queensland School Readers came in the 1970s when schools began to select reading materials from a range of reading schemes.

'Good Manners' chart

First issued to Queensland schools in 1898 by the Department of Public Instruction, the 'Good Manners' chart was part of the systematic teaching of conduct and manners. The chart was based on rules formulated by the Children's National Guild of Courtesy which had been founded in UK elementary schools.

The chart continued to be issued to Queensland schools until the 1960s.

Corporal punishment

In 1992, a decision was made by the Department of Education to phase out corporal punishment within three years. This was due to the increased support by teachers and parents for the total abolition of corporal punishment in schools and also as corporal punishment had become incompatible with the policies of the Department and the Government.

Free milk scheme

In October 1951 all Australian states, with the exception of Queensland, were participating in the free milk scheme, an initiative of the Commonwealth government. It wasn't until 1953 that the scheme was first introduced into Queensland state schools

In Queensland, the Hanlon government raised concerns about aspects of the scheme as inappropriate in a State with a tropical climate and huge distances between centres. An Agreement was later signed and the scheme began operating in the greater Brisbane area on 3 March 1953. The scheme was extended later that year to country centres and it was estimated that 150,000 Queensland school children were consuming 30,000 gallons of free milk each week.

State scholarship examination

In their final year of primary school, students took the state scholarship examination. The scholarship holder was entitled to tuition, at the expense of the Government, to any state or technical high school, grammar school or other secondary school approved by the Governor in Council.

Anzac Day

The foundations for the commemoration of Anzac Day were established long before the day was first formally observed. Queensland state schools had been celebrating Empire Day and Trafalgar Day based on Australia's historic connections to Britain for some time prior to 1915. The commemoration of Anzac Day in Queensland state schools was grafted onto these existing traditions and special days.

As part of the reform of student behaviour management, each school community including teachers, students and parents, was responsible for the development of a code of behaviour.

As planned, at the beginning of the 1995 school year, corporal punishment in Queensland state schools was abolished.

Last updated 15 April 2019