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Queensland independent schools are expected to welcome over 130,000 new and returning domestic students in 2021.

Four new independent schools and three new campuses have also been approved to open in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, northern Queensland and Logan in Term 1, 2021. They will bring the total number of independent schools to 226 operating across 261 campuses (see new schools list below).

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said despite the significant economic challenges of 2020, independent school enrolments remained strong, with a number of principals reporting strong interest from new families in 2021.

“Independent schools in south-east Queensland coastal communities in particular, have also fielded interest and enrolment applications from interstate families looking to relocate their home base to the Sunshine State in 2021,” Mr Robertson said.

“While the indications are positive, official enrolment figures for the start of the 2021 school year won’t be known until after the February non-state schools census.”

In Term 1, 2021 Queensland independent schools are expected to welcome about 7,700 Prep students, 12,000 Year 7s and 11,000 Year 12s.

Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network Executive Officer Justine Cirocco welcomed new families joining the independent sector for the first time in 2021 as well as returning parents and students. 

“I encourage new parents and carers to embrace the many opportunities their independent schools provide to get involved in school life and to engage in their child’s education,” she said. 

Ms Cirocco also encouraged parents to use the new school year to forge positive and productive partnerships with their children’s teachers. Around 10,000 teachers are expected to be employed at independent schools in Queensland this year.

“Schools are places of human connection. Decades of research has shown that parents have the greatest influence on their child’s learning when they show how much they value education by talking with their children about their learning, reading with them, encouraging good study habits, creating a stimulating home environment and reinforcing and connecting learning in the classroom with everyday activities at home,” she said. 

The majority of Queensland schools will start the new school year from the week commencing Wednesday 27 January 2021. However, some independent schools may have different start dates. Parents should check commencement dates with individual schools.

All new non-state schools must meet legislated 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.


New independent schools

IES College (Spring Hill, Brisbane) – a co-educational senior school offering the International Baccalaureate program. The school will commence with Year 11 students.

Mastery Schools Australia (Gold Coast) – a Special Assistance Middle School for students in Years 4-9 who are at risk of disengaging or have disengaged from education.

Tropical North Steiner School (Mossman) – a primary school commencing with students in Prep to Year 3.

Darlingia Forest School (Innisfail) – a primary school for students in Prep-Year 3.


New campuses

The Busy School – a Special Assistance Senior School for young Queenslanders who have disengaged or are at risk of disengaging from education opened in Cairns in Term 2, 2020. The school has received approval to open a new campus at Shailer Park in Logan, in 2021.

Australian International Islamic College (Logan) – a new campus of the College located at Kingston.

Silver Lining School – a new campus of the school located at Barcaldine.


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Justine Nolan
0428 612 315 |

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