Primary, secondary and special schools


State education is provided by the Department of Education (DoE), as a publicly-funded service available to all children in Queensland.

There are a range of facilities:

  • early childhood development programs (ECDP)
  • primary schools, secondary schools, and P-10/12 schools
  • special schools
  • hospital schools
  • schools of distance education
  • centres for continuing secondary education
  • outdoor and environmental education centres
  • Queensland Academies.

Listed below are the answers to some commonly asked questions that parents and carers have about Queensland state schools. More information is available for parents and carers, including resources and directories.

At what age is my child eligible for Prep?

Children must be five by 30 June in the year they enrol in the Preparatory Year. See Enrolling your child.

Do state schools charge fees?

The cost of providing instruction, administration and facilities for the education of a student at a state school is met by the State.

The 'education of a student' may be provided wherever instruction arranged by the school is given to the student, and is not limited to being provided within the grounds of the school or on school premises. See State Education Fees.

How do I enrol a child if:
  • I move within Queensland?
  • I move from interstate?
  • my child is from overseas?

See Enrolling your child.

Are the school year levels the same between states?

No - there are some differences, so if a student is transferring from interstate, the new school should be contacted directly. See Enrolling your child.

What are the school hours?

Most state schools hold classes from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday, except for public and school holidays and staff professional development days. See term dates and vacations. Principals may change school hours to suit local conditions. Some secondary schools also have flexible arrangements for students involved in vocational education and training and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

How do I find my nearest state school?

See Choosing a state school. Contact your regional office or search for schools in your local area via the Schools Directory.

When are the school holidays?

See School holidays and term dates. Specific holiday dates may vary depending on the year level of the student (e.g. Year 10 or 12) and your locality in the state. Check with your local school for annual School holiday dates and staff professional development days.

Is there before-and after-school hours care at schools?

Many state schools host an outside school hours care (OSHC) service on a school site. All children who are eligible to attend a school, including those enrolled in the Prep Year, are eligible to apply to be enrolled in OSHC. These services can be operated by Parents and Citizens' Associations (P&Cs), not-for-profit or commercial providers. Contact your local school to determine if a service is available at your school. See Hosting outside school hours care services on state school sites.

Do children have to wear school uniforms?

School communities, through their P&Cs, can decide on a student dress code which reflects the needs and circumstances of that school community. For more information see the Student dress code procedure.

What financial assistance is available for books, uniforms or transport?

The department provides assistance to parents of secondary school age students through the Textbook and Resource Allowance. The Queensland Government funds the School Transport Assistance Scheme to help students who meet certain criteria, travel to and from school. Refer to Financial assistance. Many schools have school uniform shops and second-hand clothing pools. Contact your school P&Cs Association for further information. Families in genuine financial difficulties are asked to contact the school principal for assistance and advice with uniform provision.

What services are available for students who are gifted and talented?

All Queensland state schools are committed to meeting the learning needs of students who are gifted. See Gifted and talented education.

What support does my child get if they have a disability or learning difficulty?

The department is committed to providing all Queensland students with access to a quality education, including students with disability or a learning difficulty.

More information is available for support for students with learning difficulties.

Which state schools offer specialised subjects?

There is a wide variety of specialised subjects offered in state schools. Refer to specific school websites or individual school principals for information on their school offerings.

Does my child have to do homework?

See the P–12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework page.

If you have further queries, please make an appointment to see your child's teacher.

What can I do if my child is being bullied?

Bullying is a concern that all schools take very seriously and work to address. If you suspect your child is being bullied you should make an appointment with the teacher or principal at the school to discuss your concerns. You may also like to explore the Bullying! No Way website which has information and strategies for children, parents and schools.

How do I volunteer to work at schools?

Volunteers are always welcome as it helps foster a partnership between school, home and the community. Volunteers at schools need to hold a Blue Card prior to commencing work, however, if the volunteer is a parent of a child at the school, a Blue Card may not be needed. Contact the school principal for further information.

What forums do parents have to get involved in their child's school?

Parents are encouraged to play an active role in the education of their children. There are many ways parents can be involved in activities at their child's school, ranging from P&Cs Associations to volunteer work. See Parents and carers - becoming involved.

What is the sun safety policy?

Schools in consultation with their school community, develop and implement a sun protection plan for students and staff. School plans cover issues such as wearing hats, using shade, scheduling outdoor activities and developing classroom programs on sun safety. See the Sun safety stra​tegy page for more information.

Last updated 22 June 2022