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Guide to Queensland Education

A good education is the best start you can give your children for their adult life. Queensland has over 1,280 state schools throughout the state, 282 Catholic schools and another 172 independent schools.

It is mandatory for children to be enrolled in school by the year they turn 6, and must attend until they turn 16 or complete year 10. Even then they have to either obtain fulltime work or continue to study at a school or TAFE until they turn 17. It’s part of a Government initiative called “Learning or Earning”.

The Queensland Education System involves 1 year of Preparatory School, which is non-compulsory but those who attend are usually 4 to 5 years of age. Following this is 7 years of Primary School (Grades 1 to 7) and 5 years of High School (Grades 8 to 12). Upon completion most students are around 17 years of age.

After High School

Those who graduate from Years 11 and 12 will receive the Queensland Certificate of Education. From this they can choose to receive a Tertiary Entrance Statement which reports their Overall Position (OP) and Field Positions (FP). Their OP and FP are used to rank students for entry into tertiary education facilities such as University or TAFE.

School Terms & Academic Year

The academic year is broken up into two semesters, with two terms in each. Each term is approximately ten weeks with a holiday period at the end of each. School hours are typically between 9am to 3pm weekdays, though these times can differ from school to school.

Class sizes can differ too, though the target sizes are 25 students for prep to grade 3, 28 students for grades 4 through to 10, and 25 for the final year 11 and 12. In these classes, a student’s performance is measured through assignments, oral presentations, practical exercises, tests & exams and other subject-specific tasks.

Students receive reports at the end of each ten week term, and are benchmarked by five levels of achievement;

  • VHA – Very High Achievement
  • HA – High Achievement
  • SA – Sound Achievement
  • LA – Limited Achievement
  • VLA – Very Limited Achievement

    Queensland School Term Dates 2014

    Term 1                 Tuesday 28 January - Friday 4 April                        10 weeks
    Term 2                 Tuesday 22 April - Friday 27 June                            10 weeks
    Term 3                 Monday 14 July - Friday 19 September                   10 weeks
    Term 4                 Tuesday 7 October - Friday 12 December             10 weeks

    School holiday dates 2014

    • School Easter break – Saturday 5 April - Monday 21 April
    • School term break – Saturday28 June - Sunday 13 July
    • School term break – Saturday 20 September - Monday 6 October
    • Monday 20 October
    • School Christmas Holiday – Saturday 13 December – Monday 26 January, 2015

    Queensland School Term Dates 2015

    Term 1                 Tuesday 27 January - Thursday 2 April                   10 weeks
    Term 2                 Monday 20 April - Friday 26 June                              10 weeks
    Term 3                 Monday 13 July - Friday 18 September                   10 weeks
    Term 4                 Tuesday 6 October - Friday 11 December              10 weeks

    School holiday dates 2015

    • School Easter break – Friday 3 April - Sunday 19 April
    • School term break – Saturday 27 June - Sunday 12 July
    • School term break – Saturday 19 September - Monday 5 October
    • Monday 19 October
    • School Christmas Holiday – Saturday 12 December - start of term 1, 2016

    Find a School in Queensland

    If you want to see what schooling options are in your area you can use the Education Queensland site to find a school. You can search be region, postcode, state or non-state school.