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Cultural and religious diversity
Queensland is a dynamic and diverse society with many cultures, languages and religions. People from all over the world have come to call Queensland home, bringing with them a broad range of experiences, skills and customs.
Queensland state schools embrace this multitude of cultural, religious and non-religious beliefs and encourage students to grow and develop as a whole person, in particular, in beliefs, values and attitudes. State schools respect the background and beliefs of all students and staff by not promoting, or being perceived as promoting, any particular set of beliefs in preference to another.
Queensland state schools respond to the religious diversity of students through whole-school approaches, adjustments for specific students or adjustments in certain circumstances.
Some examples of ways that schools respond flexibly:
- Attendance: although parents are encouraged to ensure their child misses as little school as possible, in some circumstances it may be reasonable for a student to be absent to participate in a special religious observance or attend a funeral. These absences should be documented through the provision of a written or verbal explanation from the parent and recorded in the school roll appropriately
- Dress code: ensuring there are strategies to accommodate special circumstances of students e.g. religious and cultural beliefs
- Tuckshop: providing healthy food and drink choices that meet the range of dietary requirements for students at the school e.g. halal, vegetarian
- Class activities: adjusting a class activity to accommodate religious and cultural beliefs e.g. providing information in text or picture form instead of a television program.
Every student is welcome in our state schools, which are a reflection of Queensland's communities.
Queensland state schools are committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) students. The Department of Education supports state schools to respond to the individual needs of all students to ensure their wellbeing is nurtured and their learning maximised.
The documents below are designed to assist schools, parents and students to create and maintain safe and supportive environments for our LGBTIQ+ students in state school communities.
Refugee and asylum seeker students
The Department of Education is committed to providing safe and inclusive school environments for all students and Queensland state schools play a vital role in supporting students to become successful learners.
Students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds arrive in Australia having experienced trauma and significant disruption to their education, or in some cases, no previous formal schooling. As a result many students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds will have limited literacy in their first language and will require high levels of support to enable them to learn English and acquire the academic literacy needed to enable them to settle successfully into school.
Schools assist refugee students and their families by providing links to specialist support agencies and counselling services in the local community. Schools also assist by providing a welcoming place for the family and encouragement to participate in the school and the broader community.
Students in care
For students in care, learning and achieving good educational outcomes can be extremely challenging. The
Students in care policy statement outlines the expectations for schools in supporting students in care to reach their full academic, social and emotional potential and to participate in school activities.
The Department of Education is committed to identifying and supporting students who are young carers. A young carer is a person under 25 years of age who provides support and care to a family member or a friend who has disability, a mental health issue, alcohol or other drug problem, chronic or terminal illness, or who is frail or cannot look after themselves. A young carer may also be caring for their own child.
The resources below have been developed to assist schools supporting students who are young carers and to provide information to students about accessing support services within the school and community, including during the Coronavirus pandemic.