Independent Schools

Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision.

That’s why it’s important to start thinking about schools early and to research the different options available in your local area.

School Choice

Queensland’s education system is made up of three schooling sectors – independent schools, Catholic schools and state schools.

There are more than 200 independent schools located in communities across the state. They include co-educational schools, girls-only and boys-only schools, boarding schools and schools for students with disability, disengaged students and students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Independent schools serve a diverse range of students and offer parents a broad choice of schooling options, from faith-based schools to schools founded on a particular education philosophy such as Montessori or Steiner.

Independent schools are generally governed, managed and accountable at the school level, allowing them to operate autonomously and to be responsive to the needs of their local communities. However, there are also some independent schools that operate within a mutually supportive school system based on faith or cultural affiliations.

What is common to independent schools is their commitment to providing the children in their care with a quality education and support in a disciplined, respectful and welcoming environment.

More than 123,000 students attend Queensland independent schools – that’s about 15 percent of the state’s total school-age population.

Discover more about the independent schools in your area by visiting their websites, taking a school tour or attending an Open Day.

Independent Schools Queensland has a list of all independent schools in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are independent schools governed?

All independent schools must be accredited to operate and have their governing body approved through the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board

How are independent schools funded?

Independent schools are majority funded by parents paying tuition fees with additional assistance provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

How do I enrol my child?

Schools have specific enrolment procedures. You should speak directly with the independent school or schools you would like your child to attend to learn more about their procedures, requirements and timeframes for applications.

How do independent schools report on student progress?

It’s a requirement for all schools in Queensland to provide parents with regular updates on their child’s progress at school. Speak with your school or ones that you may interested in to find out how they keep parents informed about their child’s academic and social development.

Can I access transport assistance for my child?

The Non-State Schools Transport Assistance Scheme administers two travel assistance programs for non-state school parents. Parents can apply for bus or ferry assistance or for assistance to help transport students with disability.

The Scheme, which is a joint initiative of Independent Schools Queensland and the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, provides parents with information on how to determine if they’re eligible for assistance and when and how to apply.

May is the month to apply for travel expenses between January and June. October is the month to apply for travel expenses between July to December.

It’s a simple process:

  • check your eligibility for either: Bus or Ferry Assistance OR Students With Disability
  • make a note in your calendar to apply to the scheme each May (for travel January to June) / October (for travel July to December)
  • pay for transport throughout the semester
  • keep your public transport receipts
  • apply for assistance
  • the scheme calculates how much they can pay you
  • they pay you by the end of August/January after you apply