Education facilities in Queensland


Preparatory (Prep) Year

Prep is the first year of schooling in Queensland. It is a full time, school-based program and has a defined curriculum. The Prep Year helps children develop the skills and knowledge to better prepare them for school. To enrol in Prep, children must be aged 5 years by 30 June in the year of proposed attendance. It is compulsory for all Queensland children to undertake Prep prior to commencing Year 1. For further information on enrolment in Prep, visit enrolling your child.

Primary schools

Primary schools provide students from Prep to Year 6 with compulsory learning in a common, yet broad, curriculum that teachers adapt to suit local and individual needs. Students develop skills and knowledge relevant to their present and future needs and gain a greater understanding of other cultures and technology.

Secondary schools

Secondary schools provide educational programs to students of compulsory school age and provide a further two years of senior education for those wishing to continue formalised learning in school as their compulsory participation option. Students are offered a broad range of academic and vocational subjects enabling them to pursue a course of study that will further their educational and career goals.

P–10/12 schools

P–10/12 schools provide education to students from Prep to Year 10 or Year 12 depending on the school's location. Traditionally, P–10 schools have developed in more rural and remote locations but more recently P–12 schools have been established in other locations. Generally, P–10/12 schools provide students with a seamless transition across the phases of learning, and many are very innovative in the way they offer the curriculum.

Enriched education — Queensland Academies

The Queensland Academies aim to accelerate learning opportunities for Queensland's best and brightest students in Years 10, 11 and 12. The Queensland Academy for Creative Industries at Kelvin Grove operates in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology at Toowong operates in partnership with the University of Queensland. The new Queensland Academy for Health Sciences operates on the Gold Coast in partnership with Griffith University. The educational program offered by the academies is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This program is a world-recognised preuniversity qualification and characterised by accelerated studies, extension and enrichment work with universities, industry experience and personal and social development. For more information visit the Queensland Academies website.

Special schools

Special schools provide highly specialised and individualised programs to cater for students with intellectual disability which, alone or in combination with other disabilities, severely affects the student's ability to attend and learn at school. Find out more about enrolment options in a Queensland state special school.

Hospital schools

Hospital schools provide either classroom or ward-based specialised educational programs for students from Prep to Year 12. A student can be an admitted patient, a sibling of a patient or a child of a patient. Hospital school teaching staff, in liaison with medical staff, provide a warm, supportive and flexible educational environment for students during their hospital stay.

Schools of distance education

Schools of distance education provide educational programs for students from Prep to Year 12, who are unable to attend a traditional school setting due to geographic isolation, illness or other special circumstances. Schools of distance education also provide services to families who choose home-based learning, adults who are completing their schooling, and students living overseas. School-based students who are unable to access desired subjects locally and students attending alternative education settings are also provided with educational programs. There is an increasing emphasis in schools of distance education on the use of information and communication technologies and digital learning resources to maximise learning opportunities and improve teacher and student interaction.

Education options for adults

There are a range of education options that allow adult learners (students aged 18 years or older) to complete or continue their education.

Adult learners can complete their high school education by applying to enrol as a mature age student at one of the 10 state schools in Queensland that accept enrolment applications from mature age students. Fee-free education at a school of distance education is available to mature age applicants whose principal place of residence is at least 16 kilometres from a mature age state school or who are refused enrolment at a mature age state school.

The best option for each adult learner will depend on their individual study and career goals. For a list of useful contact details and further information about education options for adults, download the guide for adult learners (DOCX, 273KB).

Outdoor and environmental education centres

Outdoor and environmental education centres (OEECs) develop and deliver outdoor and environmental education programs for schools and the community, and provide professional development for teachers. Programs are linked to the school curriculum and student leadership objectives. These centres provide information about local environmental issues, and serve as venues for school excursions and camps. Many are available for hire on weekends and school holidays. The centres offer specialised learning programs such as archaeology and heritage interpretation, environmental arts, urban renewal, and water-watch investigations.

Further education and training

Students in Queensland have the opportunity to obtain further education qualifications after completing their senior studies.

Most Queensland senior secondary students work towards attaining a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Schools implementing the QCE system provide students with a range of subjects and courses to suit their interests, further study and career goals. The range of senior subjects and vocational qualifications offered at each school varies, depending on the context and needs of the local community.

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is the primary mechanism used nationally for tertiary admission. In Queensland, the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) calculates the ATAR for eligible students, and administers the application and offer process for further education and training in Queensland (as well as some institutions in northern New South Wales). Visit myQCE on the QCAA website for information regarding the QCE and ATAR eligibility in Queensland. Search for courses on the QTAC website to find out what courses are available, as well as admission criteria and minimum selection thresholds, and visit institutions’ open days and career expos for more advice. Queensland students can also apply to other TAFEs or universities within Australia and overseas.

Schools provide career education and advice to support students in planning their senior studies and future pathways. In Year 10, students will have the opportunity to work with their school and parents/carers to plan for their senior pathway.

A full list of Queensland higher education providers is available from the departmental website.

International education

The department welcomes the participation of international students in Queensland state schools and offers offshore education and services through Education Queensland International (EQI):

For further information on any of these international education programs and services visit the EQI website.

Higher education for international students is available at Queensland universities. These universities are engaged in teaching and research, and offer undergraduate and postgraduate studies, study abroad and English language courses.

Further information is available on the Study Queensland website.

Last updated 25 July 2023