Education in Brisbane and Queensland

Education in Queensland, Australia

The school year in Queensland

The School year normally starts in the last week of January, and ends in December.

2011 Queensland School terms

Term 1: 24 Jan – 15 Apr
Term 2: 27 Apr – 24 Jun
Term 3: 11 Jul – 16 Sep
Term 4: 3 Oct – 9 Dec

Student Free Days for 2011
20 & 21 Jan 2011,
15th Apr 2011,
11th Jul 2011,
17th Oct 2011

Year 10 finish: 25 Nov 2011
Year 12 finish: 18 Nov 2011

From 2012 Queensland is adopting the new Australian Curriculum for the subjects of English, mathematics and science. Every Australian school student will learn this core national curriculum.

From 2013, Years 8 and 9 will become Junior Secondary in all state schools, with Year 7 becoming part of Junior Secondary in 2015.

From 2015, Year 7 will become the first year of high school for Queensland students although up to 20 state high schools will be piloting this change before 2015.

State Schools may differ slightly in times than private schools.

State Schools

Last day of Term in 2011 is Friday 9th December and the first day of 2012 is 23rd January

Private Schools

May vary, but mine is: Last day of Term in 2011 is 2nd December and the first day of 2012 is 30th January. (The school office however, opens on 16th January 2012)

School Term Dates and Holidays


Term 1: Monday 24 January – Friday 15 April
Term 2: Wednesday 27 April – Friday 24 June
Term 3: Monday 11 July – Friday 16 September
Term 4: Monday 3 October – Friday 9 December


Term 1: Monday 23 January – Friday 30 March
Term 2: Tuesday 10 April – Friday 22 June
Term 3: Monday 9 July – Friday 21 September
Term 4: Monday 8 October – Friday 14 December

Note: These are for State schools. Most Private schools do have some differences, such as an extra week here and there.

When can a child start school in Queensland ?

Children must be 5 by 30 June in the year they start Prep.
Children must be 6 by 30 June in the year they start Year 1.

A Queensland Education webpage that calculates the answer for Prep school and Year 1 is at:

Children born:

  • between July 2002 – Jun 2003 : start prep in Jan 2008 and Year 1 in Jan 2009.
  • between July 2003 – Jun 2004 : start prep in Jan 2009 and Year 1 in Jan 2010.
  • between July 2004 – Jun 2005 : start prep in Jan 2010 and Year 1 in Jan 2011.
  • between July 2005 – Jun 2006 : start prep in Jan 2011 and Year 1 in Jan 2012.
  • between July 2006 – Jun 2007 : start prep in Jan 2012 and Year 1 in Jan 2013.

State education in Queensland offers programs from preschool to Year 12.

  • All state schools are co-educational.
  • The school year usually runs from late January to mid-December.
  • It is divided into two semesters, with two terms in each and school holiday breaks for Easter, winter, spring and summer.
  • All students who reside within the local catchment area and are eligible for enrolment in the educational program offered by the school have a right to enrolment at the school.
Starting School in Queensland
Prep School:
  • Prep School is an early education program, provided in the the school grounds of the majority of primary schools in Queensland.
  • Children attend from Monday to Friday during normal school hours, which are generally between 9am and 3pm.
  • Prep School is NOT compulsory, although about 97% of eligible children do attend.
  • Children need to be five by 30 June in the year they start in Prep.
  • Special consideration may be given to children from interstate or overseas who meet legislated criteria.

Useful Links:

Some useful information, can be found at: “Tips for Prep Teachers“, especially the “Supporting Early Literacy” and “Supporting Early Numeracy” sections.


Primary school generally runs from year 1 to year 7, although some of the independent schools may end primary school at year 6, and move the children to middle school in year 7.

Parents may enrol a child in their local primary school by contacting the school directly.

For a child entering Year 1, schools require proof of the child’s date of birth, such as a birth certificate, passport or visa.


Students are eligible to enter the first year of secondary school, Year 8, after completing seven years of primary education.

Parents may enrol a child in their local secondary school by contacting the school directly. Note: Some Private/Independent schools start secondary school in year 7.

Senior school continues normally until year 12.

Year 12 students, who previously received a Senior Certificate, will, from 2008, receive a Queensland Certificate of Education

From 2005, Queensland produced a form of school ranking reports, which includes information on the number of students awarded certificates and qualifications.

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It also shows the proportion of OP-eligible students with OP 1 to 15 and the proportion of QTAC applicants receiving a tertiary offer.

Copies of the Queensland School OP Reports can be found at:

What do children learn in each year at school

One way to compare Queensland schooling against UK schooling, is to look at examples of work expected to be done.

Every year, all children in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are tested, and the test papers are then made available for public viewing, (after the exams of course). These can be seen at

Further Education

TAFE. Australia’s main vocational education and training provider –

Temporary Visa Holders:

QLD – In QLD people on temporary resident visas (and their dependant family members) generally pay the same fees as Australian students for government-funded schooling.

TAFE can be much more expensive on a Temp Visa though.

The school-aged dependants of permanent resident, business skills, provisional and temporary resident visa holders are generally able to access mainstream schooling without the need to pay tuition fees. Persons who are intending to travel to Queensland with school-aged dependants are advised to contact Education Queensland International to check whether tuition fees will be required. Email Contact is shown on this page:…/visainfo.html
Leaving School:

Queensland school leaving information:

From 1 January 2006 the minimum school leaving age was raised from 15 to 16 years or when a student has completed Year 10, whichever comes first.

After this, the “compulsory participation phase” will commence. This phase ends when a young person –

  • Gains a Senior Certificate or Certificate III (vocational qualification); or
  • Has participated in eligible options for 2 years (eg. an educational program provided by a school, a course of higher education provided by a university or other provider, a TAFE course, an apprenticeship or traineeship); or
  • Turns 17

A young person’s parents will be obliged to ensure he or she participates as required.

This obligation does not apply where the young person is in paid employment for at least 25 hours per week or is under an employment exemption within the Vocational Education, Training and Employment Act 2000.

OP’s (Overall Position Score)

At the end of year 12 most Queensland students sit the Queensland Core Skills Test, this enables them to be eligible for an “OP Score”.

Copies of the Queensland School OP Reports can be found at:

The OP calculations take into account a student’s best 5 Authority subjects, ie: the 20 semester units in which they receive the highest scaled subject achievement indicators.

In calculating OP’s, all subjects are treated equally.

Students are placed in one of 25 OP bands from 1 (highest) to 25 (lowest).

Those with the highest bands get the best University options.

Frequentlyaskedquestions about Overall Positions (OPs)

  • What is an Overall Position (OP) and what is it used for ?
  • Will students with five SAIs of 400 obtain an OP1?
  • Can you predict an OP just from Levels of Achievement?
  • Will 5 (or more) VHAs and an A on the QCS Test result in an OP1?
  • Do all students awarded dux by their schools receive an OP1?
  • In the calculation of an OP and FPs, can previous studies interstate or overseas be included?
  • Can extra-curricular achievements be included in the calculation of an OP and FPs?
  • Can a student do poorly on the QCS Test and obtain a high OP?

The answers to the above questions can be found at:

Students who want an OP must study 20 semester units of Authority subjects , including at least three subjects for four semesters each, and must sit the: QCS Test

OP Bands are distributed as follows:

OP Band 1 is normally allocated to about the top 2% of students.

OP Bands 2 to 6 will be shared by the next approx 19% of students.

OP Bands 7 to 21 between the next approx 73% of students.

OP Bands 22 to 24 for the next approx 5% of students

OP Band 25 – for about the next 1% of students

Transferring to a School in Queensland

Children born in 1993 will start school years as follows:

  • year 1 in 1999
  • year 2 in 2000
  • year 3 in 2001
  • year 4 in 2002
  • year 5 in 2003
  • year 6 in 2004
  • year 7 in 2005
  • year 8 in 2006
  • year 9 in 2007
  • year 10 in 2008
  • year 11 in 2009
  • year 12 in 2010

These are the normal ages groups, but sometimes they can be varied, depending on circumstances.

These rules cannot be used for children born after 2002, as the starting age system changed for that age group.

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I am wanting to know, if my daughter is born july 9th 2007 is there anyway to enrol her for 2012 school year. As I believe and her kindy teachers believe that she is emotional, mentally and socially ready to begin school. Please contact me on “email removed to avoid spam” or call me on 0404186508.

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