School Choice

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

Independent schools are a valued education choice for an ever-increasing number of Queensland families, educating 16.2 percent of all school-age children.

There are more than 230 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.

Discover  Independent Schools

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.

View all Independent Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about independent schooling, or have a specific question.
If you can’t find it below, please contact us!

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

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

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.

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 be interested in to find out how they keep parents informed about their child’s academic and social development.

Many independent schools use the results from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Cooperative Scholarship Test Program to award scholarships. It’s important to contact individual schools to find out their scholarship application process, associated costs and specific requirements, including sitting the scholarship test.

The full list of schools participating in the ACER Scholarship Test can be found here. ACER also has a dedicated information page for parents with FAQs and further information about testing.

There are also several scholarship programs for Indigenous children in Australia. These include Yalari, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) and the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation (QATSIF).

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