School gates open to thousands of young Queenslanders

JOINT STATEMENT

Queensland schools will roll out the welcome mat to almost 870,000 students, 54,000 teachers and 19,000 teacher aides for the first day of the 2021 school year.

Of these 870,000 students, about 582,000 are expected at Queensland’s 1254 state schools.

And Independent and Catholic schools expect to welcome more than 284,000 students across 535 schools.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today visited Heatley Secondary College in Townsville with Education Minister Grace Grace and Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper to celebrate the first day back at school.

The Premier said state school students would be entering more classrooms, with more teachers and better facilities in 2021.

“Today is an exciting time for students and families as well as our school staff and communities,” the Premier said.

“It’s the very first day of school for 66,800 Preps, including 47,300 preppies who are enrolled at Queensland state schools.

“My government is deeply committed to providing world-class education to Queensland families, no matter where they live.

“Our infrastructure spend in 2020-21 of $1.9 billion is also an investment in almost 4800 jobs for local tradies as we unite and recover from the impact of the global pandemic.

“Heatley Secondary College is benefitting from $12 million worth of new and upgraded facilities including a refurbished performing arts centre, visual arts rooms, new staff rooms, staff conference room and student wellbeing hub.”

Mr Harper said the new performing arts facilities would see the school’s instrumental music program expanded to include strings as well as dance classes for students.

“The new performing arts facility will enable the school to launch its Creative Technologies Academy in next year, bringing together the performing arts and technologies already available through the on-site Townsville Creative Technologies Centre,” he said.

“And as a bonus for our local tradies, this work over the past year will support up to 36 full-time jobs.”

Minister Grace said today was also a special day for 829 students who walked through the gates of our five brand new state schools, with construction supporting 1360 local jobs.

“Our five new state schools that opened this morning – Palmview State Primary School, Palmview State Special School and Baringa State Secondary College on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane South State Secondary College at Dutton Park and Gainsborough State School on the Gold Coast – are of a world-class standard,” she said.

“We’re also on track to deliver three new state schools for 2022, supporting almost 600 jobs.”

Ms Grace also encouraged parents and carers to enrol their four-year-old children in one of the approved kindergarten programs being delivered in more than 2000 early childhood education and care services across the state.

“It’s so important that our younger Queenslanders get a great start in life through our early childhood programs to prepare them for the transition to school,” she said.

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