The three main education providers are the Queensland Government (1280 schools), Catholic Education (282 schools) and the Independent schools sector (172 schools). Government schools are often called State Schools or Public Schools. Non-government schools are often called Private Schools.
Most Private schools have a religious affiliation, but some are non-denominational. All Government schools are non-denominational.
In the Private sector there are co-educational and single-sex schools at Primary and at Secondary level. All Queensland Government schools are co-educational.
In Queensland there is one (non-compulsory) year in Prep; seven years in Primary school and five years in Secondary school. Some schools offer a Pre-Prep year. Not many Government schools have Primary and Secondary schools on the same campus (combined), but some Catholic schools have combined levels, and most Private schools.
Children born between 1 January and 30 June 2002 will be eligible to attend Prep in 2007. Children born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003 will be eligible for Prep in 2008. The starting age for Year 1 will also increase by six months from 2008.
All Queensland children must stay in education or training until the age of 17 years.
The Queensland school curriculum is based on seven Key Learning Areas in Prep to Year 10: English; Health and Physical Education (HPE); Mathematics; Science; Studies of Society and the Environment (SOSE); Technology; and the Arts. At Year 5 another KLA is introduced which is Languages Other Than English (LOTE).
Year 11 and 12 students choose from a large range of subjects. Some students undertake Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses in schools. VET provides students with practical and work-related knowledge and skills. At the end of Year 12 all students receive a Student Education Profile (SEP), which provides information about their achievements. A Student Education Profile may contain a Senior Certificate, or it may contain both a Senior Certificate and a Tertiary Entrance Statement. Students only receive a TES if they have done a Queensland Core Skills Test, and have met study guidelines that make them eligible to get an OP (Overall Position) score and an FP (Field Position) score. These scores show where a student’s results rank in comparison to other students’ results.
Language subjects are called Languages Other Than English (LOTE). Studying one or more languages is part of the school curriculum beginning in Primary school.
There are Special Needs Schools for children with disabilities in both the Government and Private sector in Queensland. Some general schools have programs for Special Needs students on their campuses.
There are several schools in Queensland which have an alternative philosophical approach to education, such as Steiner or Montessori. They are all Private schools.
There are a few schools in Queensland whose main focus is a particular of learning, such as the Arts or sciences. Some general schools have special programs within their school curriculums for talented students, in areas such as sports, music, dance, languages and IT.
Many Independent and Catholic schools offer scholarships to students for academic excellence. Some also offer scholarships to students who have special talent in areas like sport, performing arts or music.
The Queensland government provides education for students in remote areas or those unable to attend school.
There are Boarding schools in the Private school sector at Primary and Secondary level.
International students can study in a variety of schools in Queensland.
Most schools expect students to wear uniforms. Uniforms are usually unique to the school.
The school year usually runs from late January to mid-December. It is divided into two semesters, with two terms in each and vacation breaks for Easter, winter, spring and summer. All Government schools follow a set of annually determined term dates. Private school term dates can vary a little from these and from each other.