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(often referred to as Public/State Schools)

When you move to Queensland you will discover good quality primary schools and in most cases you are eligible for a place if you live within the school’s catchment area. There are 1241 state schools across Queensland so there is ample choice. Good suburbs will have good local schools, so often housing is chosen based on the schools zoning. Class sizes may be high (up to 35 students to one teacher) but most parents are pleased with the quality of schooling for these primary years.

Entry: Primary school: Children must be five by 30 June in the year they enrol in the Preparatory Year. There is no waiting list for enrolment in the Preparatory Year, which is not compulsory. Children must be six by 30 June in the year they enrol in Year 1.

Cost: There are no fees for state schools in Queensland although there is usually a voluntary contribution requested which will cover some of the school's activities.


Local State High Schools

For high school (Year 8 – age 12+), the number of state schools decreases but the catchment areas expand. The reputation of state high schools may well vary considerably. Brisbane State High School is Queensland's only academic selective high school and to gain admission to this school, students must sit a selective exam the year before entry. There is a high demand for these places and exams are taken a year prior to entry, so it is often not an option for newcomers moving to Queenland mid way through the school year. Students can finish their schooling in Year 10 or continue through to year 12 at which stage they will receive a high school graduation certificate.

*This certificate is known as the Queensland Certificate of Education in Queensland


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

From 2015, Year 7 will become part of high school in Queensland. To be considered for University or TAFE entrance students must sit the Queensland Core Skills Test (QCST): this tests students on a range of skills through creative writing, short answer and multiple choice tests.  QST results, along with subject results are averaged out according to both school and individual performance. Students will then be awarded a rank (for immediate TAFE entrance) or an Overall Performance (OP) for immediate university entrance. See also



1. Make an appointment with your local public school that is in the catchment area of where you live. They will provide you with the application to enrol and let you know what documentation is required.

2. Get documentation organised – Passport, Birth Certificate, Copy of Lease (or similar) to show you live in catchment area. Plus immunisation records from your doctor.

3. Return the completed application form with everything needed – the school will then sign off and it will get sent for approval.


To find a local state school in your area in Queensland go to:

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