Youth Engagement Education Reform package


The Department of Education is implementing a $288 million Youth Engagement Education Reform package to support educational engagement for a range of students, including those needing additional support to remain engaged or become re-engaged in learning and those involved in youth justice.

The integrated package will combine intervention and prevention initiatives to support students to remain engaged in a structured, supportive learning environment in a format that meets their needs.

Initiatives under the package include:

  • $45.5 million to create an additional 50 new FlexiSpaces in schools with high need, each with a dedicated teacher, to provide extra support for students who need engagement support
  • $120.9 million to expand the Queensland State Pathways College from 6 campuses to 12 across the state, providing more places for vulnerable students in Years 10 to 12
  • $27.3 million to be invested in specialised alternative learning programs, in partnership with non-government organisations (NGOs), in priority locations across the state
  • $56.9 million to employ 78 new intensive education case managers to work directly with students who are excluded or repeatedly suspended from school
  • $8.6 million to employ additional court liaison officers and field officers to support students appearing before the Childrens Courts to get their education back on track
  • $29.1 million to be invested in additional engagement and attendance programs specifically for First Nations young people
  • development of an alternative curriculum for use in alternative settings for young people that need tailored learning options.


Many students experience significant challenges at various junctures in their school life and for most, remaining at school provides their best chance of success.

The department is continuing to build the capabilities of schools to engage and re-engage as many of these students as possible in education. One successful initiative has been the establishment of FlexiSpaces in schools, which offers identified students an inclusive, supportive learning environment and flexible educational delivery tailored to students’ needs.

The department is investing $45 million in an additional 50 FlexiSpaces in high-needs schools across Queensland. These additional spaces will build upon the existing 52 schools across the state that are already delivering, or planning on delivering, a FlexiSpace.

In an exciting expansion to the program, primary schools will now be included for the first time to assist with earlier intervention strategies.

FlexiSpaces equip schools with high-quality, bespoke built environments that facilitate flexible learning opportunities by refurbishing existing learning settings into modern, inclusive spaces. These FlexiSpaces deliver individualised, high-quality teaching and learning strategies to support disengaged students.

In addition to receiving funding for refurbishment, the next tranche of FlexiSpace sites will all receive funding for an additional teacher to ensure students receive individualised, high-quality, targeted teaching that focuses on improving learning and wellbeing outcomes.

Students in need of additional support are eligible to access the FlexiSpace on a case-by-case basis, once attempts to make suitable adjustments in class or the wider school setting have been undertaken. Students who access the space continue to access some subjects with the rest of their peers in mainstream classes and are supported to return to mainstream classes full-time when appropriate.

The FlexiSpace is just one of schools' many strategies and approaches for supporting students who are at risk of disengaging.

Queensland Pathways State College expansion​

Queensland Pathways State College (QPSC) is a senior transition program for people aged 15 to 17 years to continue their education, return to mainstream school or transition to further education, training or employment. Students at QPSCs generally have more complex social, educational and health needs and may face significant barriers in accessing mainstream education.

QPSC currently supports students at 6 campuses at:

  • Coorparoo
  • Mount Gravatt
  • Goodna
  • Bundamba
  • Bracken Ridge
  • Townsville.

As part of the Youth Engagement Education Reform package, more than $120 million will be invested to double the successful QPSC model from 6 to 12 campuses by 2027.

Additional locations have been identified in:

  • Toowoomba
  • North of Brisbane
  • Mount Isa
  • Central Queensland
  • Logan
  • Cairns.

The expansion of the QPSC has already delivered on its first milestone with the opening of the Toowoomba campus​ on 18 March 2024.

Located at the Denise Kable Youth Services Centre, this campus is a modern space that includes a classroom and outdoor courtyard. On campus students have access to a commercial kitchen and sporting facilities.

Intensive education case managers

The department has committed $57 million to a new statewide program that will support children and young people to stay engaged with education. Intensive education case managers (IECMs) will work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary regional teams to deliver intensive case management and provide transition supports. The IECMs will manage education, intervention and prevention initiatives relating to students who are at risk of disengagement, already disengaged or at risk of becoming involved with the youth justice system.

The IECMs will deliver best practice case ​management and integrated support to improve educational outcomes. They will strengthen engagement with schools through intensive engagement with families, education providers, community organisations and other key stakeholders. They will provide a connection back to our schools when young people are on long suspensions and will ensure that excluded students are supported to move on to their next step successfully.

A total of 78 IECMs will be appointed across the state.

Education Justice Initiative​

The Education Justice Initiative (EJI) is an information, referral and advocacy service that supports vulnerable young people involved with the youth justice system to re-engage with education and training. The EJI is delivered by court liaison officers (CLOs) and youth transition officers (YTOs) who provide services for young people coming before Childrens Courts across the state. The EJI targets young people of compulsory school age between the ages of 10 to 15 years, however, the program can also support young people aged 16 to 17 years in the youth justice system.

Education is an important protective factor for young people involved with the youth justice system. The EJI is a critical safety net for children and young people who may have complex needs and aims to:

  • connect/reconnect young people in the youth justice system with appropriate education or training pathways
  • engage in cross-agency collaboration (government and non-government)
  • support all stakeholders (internal and external) to understand systems, policy, processes, responsibilities and accountabilities with a goal to improve education outcomes for children and young people involved with the youth justice system
  • track transitions of young people known to the youth justice system and provide ongoing support to that young person until transition is secure.

The EJI offers a variety of supports to young people exploring their educational options and refers young people to external experts (government and non-government) as necessary for non-educational support.

The EJI has now expanded to include funding for 21 CLOs and 16 YTOs to service young people in all of the 8 departmental regions​ across the state.

Specialised alternative le​​arning programs

Under the package, $27 million is being invested to establish new specialised alternative learning programs to be delivered in partnership with not-for-profit NGOs.

The programs will be designed to respond to local needs for disengaged and vulnerable young people, with a focus on those in contact with the youth justice system. Programs are expected to support a younger cohort who will transition to further education settings and an older cohort who may also transition to training or employment pathways.

The programs will be offered in the priority locations of Cairns, Townsville, Ipswich and Mount Isa. Expressions of interest will be open to NGOs via QTenders​ when available.

Alternative learning c​urriculum

Some students need tailored programs and educational support. Supporting these students to receive relevant Australian Curriculum mapped learning is a priority for the department. The department is currently developing an alternative curriculum to be available for use in alternative learning settings. The alternative curriculum will be mapped to the Australian Curriculum but designed to meet students where they are and help them gain the essential skills they may have missed earlier in their education journey.

The alternative curriculum will also be available to non-state alternative education settings who choose to use it.

First Nations attendance and engagement

The department funds a number of initiatives to improve educational outcomes by focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student engagement. Under the package, $29.1 million over 5 years is being invested to expand attendance and engagement programs for First Nations students. This expansion will increase access for First Nations students to support their engagement and attendance in schooling and learning, and contribute to closing the gap.

The department commenced consultation in Term 1 2024 in Cherbourg, Murgon and Beaudesert to identify the supports students need to attend and engage at school and complete Year 12, with a tender for support programs due to open during Term 2 2024.

Last updated 20 May 2024