State schools provide free instruction, administration and facilities to students enrolled at state schools who are Australian citizens, permanent residents or children of Australian citizens or permanent residents. However, principals in conjunction with the school's parents and citizens' association, are able to charge fees or ask for voluntary contributions from parents or caregivers to provide extra resources such as art materials or sporting equipment. The amount varies from school to school.
In most schools, parents are responsible for providing items such as stationery and uniforms. Parents also pay for school excursions, camps and extracurricular activities.
The Queensland Government provides allowances to help eligible students with secondary textbooks and resources, school transport, and living away from home expenses.
Textbook and resource allowance
The department provides assistance to parents of secondary school-age students attending state and approved non-state schools to contribute towards the cost of textbooks and learning resources.
All allowance payments are made to schools through a bulk payment from the department.
In consultation with school communities, schools may choose to distribute the funds through operating textbook hiring schemes, individual payments to parents, or a combination of both schemes.
The allowance is payable once in any calendar year. The rates per student in 2011 are: $106 per year (Years 8 to 10) and $233 per year (Years 11 to 12).
For more information contact your school principal or the department's School Financial Services on 1800 248 997 or (07) 3237 0864.
Assistance is also available for registering secondary-aged home education students. For further information contact the Home Education Unit on (07) 3405 3916.
Transporting students to and from school is a parental responsibility. Students may be eligible for assistance under the School Transport Assistance Scheme.
The scheme helps students travel to and from school if their access to education facilities is impeded by distance, disability, or financial disadvantage or if the students are from areas designated as drought-declared.
Students with disabilities can also be assessed to determine their eligibility for taxi or contract minibus. For more information on school transport assistance for students with disabilities, contact your local Education Queensland district office or visit the school transport webpage.
Living Away from Home Allowances Scheme
Information about the Living Away From Home Allowances Scheme (LAFHAS) is available on the Queensland Government website.
The scheme supports eligible Queensland families whose children need to live away from home to attend a state school or an accredited non-state school.
Queensland Academies Isolated Student Bursary
Talented students from rural and remote areas who are not eligible for the Living Away From Home Allowance Scheme (LAFHAS) may be able to apply for the Queensland Academies Isolated Students Bursary. The Bursary will assist students with travel and accommodation costs while attending one of the 3 specialised Queensland Academies in south-east Queensland.
Commonwealth Government assistance
Commonwealth Government assistance is also available for eligible young people through Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY, ABSTUDY and Assistance for Isolated Children programs. For further information on this assistance visit the Centerlink website.
Information on government entitlements for Queensland parents and school-age students is available at the Grants and allowances webpage.
Further information is available from School Financial Services, Department of Education on 1800 248 997, or (07) 3237 0864.
A guide to the many avenues of financial support to students and families, as well as school communities and parents' associations, is also available in the departmental booklet Resourceful Schools. This booklet is downloadable from the Grants and allowances webpage.