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 2019

    Term 1                 Tuesday 29 January - Friday 5 April                        10 weeks
    Term 2                 Tuesday 23 April - Friday 28 June                            10 weeks
    Term 3                 Monday 15 July - Friday 20 September                   10 weeks
    Term 4                 Tuesday 8 October - Friday 13 December             10 weeks

    School holiday dates 2019

    • School Easter break – Saturday 6 April - Monday 22 April
    • School term break – Saturday 29 June - Sunday 14 July
    • School term break – Saturday 21 September - Monday 7 October
    • Monday 21 October
    • School Christmas Holiday – Saturday 13 December – Monday 27 January, 2020

    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.