Our people are our greatest asset and we value their experience, skills and diversity. They are critical to delivering the department’s strategic objectives. Developing the safety, wellbeing and capability of our people is always a key focus to ensure we can deliver contemporary services for all Queenslanders.
Building teacher and principal capability
Equity and Excellence sets out the vision for educational leadership and teaching expertise within a progressive, high-performing education system. The new Education Futures Institute provides a statewide focus on empowering staff, teachers and educational and system leaders to continue to build professional expertise through the delivery of high-quality targeted capability programs at key career stages.
In 2023, 3 flagship programs were launched.
- The Courageous Principals program was launched in March 2023 with 60 experienced principals. This program targets experienced principals and combines problem-based learning with experiential and collaborative sessions to enhance principals’ effectiveness to positively impact student achievement, wellbeing and engagement.
- The 2-year Beginning Principals flagship program launched in June 2023 with 51 principals participating. This program targets newly appointed first-time principals to support their leadership development by building on their professional knowledge, skills and dispositions for school leadership to positively impact on student learning and wellbeing.
- The 6-month Aspiring Principal flagship program also launched in June 2023 with 191 educators and middle leaders participating. This program targets aspiring school principals to develop their leadership, technical skills and knowledge to support their school leadership journey.
Capability development opportunities are central to building employees’ knowledge, providing opportunities for skill development and building understanding of public service responsibilities and values.
In 2022–23, completion of mandatory training by staff in schools and corporate areas remained high, including:
- 88,882 completions of Student Protection training
- 73,187 completions of Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment training
- 66,019 theory and 41,701 practical training module completions of managing students’ health support needs at school (staff can complete multiple modules based on individual student needs)
- 93,436 completions of Mandatory All Staff Training and Management Foundations training by employees, casual staff and contractors.
In September 2022, the Mandatory All Staff Training program was updated to include additional content to support employees affected by domestic and family violence. This meets the department’s obligations under the support for employees affected by domestic and family violence directive and builds awareness and capability for our workforce.
The department remains committed to maintaining educational environments that are inclusive of all students, including LGBTIQ+ students. In partnership with True Relationships and Reproductive Health (True), the department provides the Capability, Confidence and Diversity Initiative. This initiative delivers support, advice and professional development to Queensland state school staff to enable them to provide inclusive learning environments for all LGBTIQ+ students. In 2022–23, True provided online learning modules to 379 employees and professional development sessions to 1,014 employees.
More teachers and teacher aides
Great Teachers, Great Future is an election commitment to deliver more than 6,100 new teachers and more than 1,100 new teacher aides over 4 years (2021–2024). This includes new teachers and teacher aides to manage growth and replacement of the workforce.
From 2021 to 30 June 2023, the department has hired over 4,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) new teachers and more than 1,900 FTE new teacher aides. At just over halfway through the commitment, Great Teachers, Great Future has currently fulfilled 76% of the commitment for FTE teachers, while exceeding the commitment for FTE teacher aides by 69%.
Turn to Teaching Internship program
Supporting aspiring teachers to complete their studies is an important part of building a sustainable pipeline of teachers within the state schooling system.
The $19.8 million
Turn to Teaching Internship program will provide 300 aspiring teachers with financial support, mentoring and paid internships to complete their qualification and will guarantee participants a permanent teaching role in a state school.
The program is being delivered across 3 cohorts. The pilot cohort of 39 interns began their internships in schools in 2023 while completing their second year of post-graduate Initial Teacher Education studies. In 2023, a further 99 participants began their first year of study, with their internship starting in 2024.
Trade to Teach Internship program pilot
Trade to Teach Internship program pilot aims to boost the number of technologies (industrial technologies and design) teachers to help Queensland state schools meet demand and contribute to developing Queensland’s tradespeople of the future.
The pilot program has committed $9.88 million over 4 years to support tradespeople to transition to a career in teaching with a scholarship and internship. In 2023, 38 participants are undertaking their first year of study at the University of Southern Queensland or Central Queensland University. Participants will then commence their internships in 2024.
Restart Teaching program
Restart Teaching program is designed for teachers who have been out of the classroom for an extended period of time, or have recently moved to Queensland, to build their capability and confidence to teach in Queensland state schools. The program provides information on current curriculum frameworks, teaching and learning practices, and legislative responsibilities in state school settings.
The program offers practical and contextual understanding of current classroom practice and provides guidance to participants to best support their return to teaching.
In 2022–23, 40 teachers completed the Restart Teaching Program.
Safety Framework Review Project
The Safety Framework Review Project commenced in April 2021 to conduct a comprehensive and holistic review of the department's safety framework. The project focused on improving the identification, oversight, management and control of whole-of-department safety risks and hazards, as well as ensuring due diligence responsibilities and workplace health and safety obligations are understood and met.
In 2022–23, the project has achieved notable milestones, including:
- the development and pilot of a Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) School Assurance Program
- an update of resources for school and region HSW Committees
- the completion of a HSW Committee spotlight initiative aimed at facilitating the onboarding process for new committee members.
The project closed on 30 June 2023, successfully completing its core objectives and identifying future opportunities for the department to strengthen its health and safety approach.
As one of the largest employers in Queensland, the department is committed to supporting all employees to be mentally and physically well. Equity and Excellence confirms wellbeing and engagement as a departmental focus area.
The following initiatives supported staff wellbeing in 2022–23.
- A Regional Wellbeing Coordinator (RWC) in each region to collaborate with schools and workplaces to support sustainable staff wellbeing initiatives and build capability to embed staff wellbeing in our workplaces. In 2022–23, RWCs received over 835 requests for support and delivered over 430 presentations to approximately 9,280 staff. RWCs also supported schools and workplaces with over 1,380 consultations.
- The Staff Mental Health Strategy was launched in July 2022 to create psychologically safe workplaces, foster positive mental health and build a more resilient and connected organisation. Delivering on this strategy, several new training programs have been implemented including: Psychological First Aid, Special Education Leader Training focused on self-care, and Rural and Remote modules to support staff working in rural and remote locations.
- In July 2022, the Principal Hotline and Complex Matters Referral Team expanded its services across all regions, ensuring that direct, expert support is available for state school principals experiencing complex or conflict situations with parents or community members. In 2022–23, 214 complex case matters were managed and of those identified as conflict related, 170 were supported through conflict coaching and 42 mediations were conducted between principals and parents or community members. The team also delivered 129 conflict management capability and information sessions across the state with a total of 2,194 participants.
First Nations cultural capability
Being culturally capable is vital to achieving the department’s commitment to delivering aspirational, educational, economic and social outcomes for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In September 2022, the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan 2022–2024 (PDF, 4.5MB) was released, which outlines our approach to building the cultural capability of our staff and leaders. The plan reflects the following focus areas crucial to creating inclusive and culturally safe environments and practices:
- leadership and accountability
- valuing culture and history
- building cultural capability to improve economic participation
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement and stronger partnerships
- culturally responsive systems and services.