Queensland’s independent schooling sector is continuing its growth trajectory with eight new schools and campuses set to open in the first half of 2020.

The Non-State Schools Accreditation Board has approved four new independent schools and four new campuses at existing schools to open in Semester 1. This brings the total number of independent schools in 2020 to 221 operating across more than 250 campuses. See list of new schools and campuses below.

Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network Executive Officer Justine Cirocco said one of the independent sector’s many strengths was its diversity.

“There’s a school for every child to thrive,” she said.

Welcome to new and returning families

Ms Cirocco welcomed new families joining the independent sector for the first time in 2020 as well as the sector’s many returning families.

“I encourage new families to attend their local school parent group meetings, social events and to join relevant year-level social media groups to connect with other parents and carers and to keep track of the many events and activities that occur throughout the school year,” she said.

Ms Cirocco also encouraged parents to use the new school year as an opportunity to establish positive, respectful and collaborative partnerships with their children’s teachers.

“When parents and teachers are in sync – when they feel their roles, experience and knowledge are respected – student wellbeing and learning can soar,” she said.

“Decades of research has shown that parents have the greatest influence on their child’s learning when they: set high but realistic expectations for their child; regularly read and talk with them; encourage good study habits; create a stimulating home environment; and reinforce and connect learning in the classroom with everyday activities at home,” she said.

New schools and campuses must satisfy extensive criteria

All new non-state schools must meet an extensive list of accreditation criteria before they are approved to operate by the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board. Existing independent schools opening new campuses or changing aspects related to their accreditation must also obtain Board approval.

In addition to the eight new independent schools and campuses approved to open in Semester 1, a further six new independent schools have applied for accreditation. Their applications are being considered by the Board.

The majority of Queensland schools will start the new school year from the week commencing Tuesday 28 January. However, some independent schools may have different start dates. Parents should check commencement dates with individual schools.

Changes in 2020

2020 will be an extraordinary year for school education in Queensland with enrolments set to spike and Year 12s to sit external assessments for the first time in almost 50 years.

High school classrooms across the state are expected to swell on the back of an out-of-the-ordinary surge in enrolments after the state’s smaller-than-usual group of foundation Prep students finished Year 12 in 2019.

Queensland independent schools are expected to enrol an additional 5,000 students in 2020, bringing total enrolments across the state’s 221 new and existing independent schools to about 129,000 students.

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said 2020 would be a milestone year for the state’s new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) which will see Year 12s sit external assessment for the first time since 1972.

“Eligible Year 12s will also be the first to graduate with an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) instead of an Overall Position (OP) at the end of their studies in 2020. The ATAR, which is the main mechanism used nationally for tertiary admissions, will count a broader range of student learning in Queensland including vocational education and training qualifications,” he said.



Australian Industry Trade College (AITC) will open a new school in Ipswich. It is the fifth AITC campus in Queensland. About 110 students in Years 10 and 11 are expected to start at the Ipswich campus in 2020 with Year 12s to follow in 2021.

Gold Coast

Men of Business Academy – a new independent Special Assistance School for disengaged and at-risk students is due to open in April 2020. The school will cater for boys in Years 11 and 12.

Queensland Football School – a new co-educational school for students in Year 4-12 with a specialist focus on football. The school has been approved to open but is waiting on approval for a change of location.

Fraser Coast

Hervey Bay Future School – a co-educational Prep-Year 10 school has been approved to open in 2020. The school plans to open with Prep-Year 9 students in April and will extend into Year 10 in 2021.



King’s Christian College (Gold Coast) has been approved to open a new Prep-Year 12 campus in Logan Village. It will commence in 2020 with about 80 students in Prep-Year 3.

Fraser Coast

Bayside Christian College (Hervey Bay) has been approved to open a new campus at Nikenbah for Years 10-12 students. It is due to open in July 2020 with students in Years 11 and 12.

Redlands and Moreton Bay

YMCA Vocational School – an independent Special Assistance School which specialises in the education of disengaged and at-risk students will open a new campus at Victoria Point for students in Years 10-12 and another one at Mango Hill for students in Years 7-9 in 2020. This will bring to seven, the number of YMCA Vocational School sites operating across the state.


Read Independent Schools Queensland’s original media release: “Back to School 2020 – Qld Set to Usher in Extraordinary School Year”.

Read Independent Schools Queensland’s original media release: “Back to School 2020 – New Independent Schools and Campuses”.