Role descriptions


​​​​​​​​​The number of employees in a school depends on student enrolment numbers. The information below represents an example of school staff. Schools may have additional positions depending on the school context and the needs of students.

How do I fit into the department?

As a school-based employee of the department, you contribute to the delivery of quality educational and support services to young Queenslanders.

Within the department there are five divisions, each led by a Deputy Director-General:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • State Schools
  • Training
  • Policy, Performance and Planning
  • Corporate Services.

These divisions work together to support the provision of high quality lifelong learning services to the Queensland community.

Yours is one of over 1,200 state schools servicing the entire state and governed by the State Schools division through your Regional Director.

Leadership team

The school leadership team will vary according to the size of the school.

The Principal has overall responsibility for management of the school. Principals are instructional leaders who must ensure students receive teaching of the highest quality and a range of learning opportunities in order to reach their potential.

Very large schools or those with more than one facility may have a Head of Campus or Head of School.

Some schools have one or more Deputy Principals who undertake delegated Principal leadership responsibilities, and most schools will have a Head of Curriculum​ to lead teachers in delivering the curriculum.

In state high schools or P–10 or 12 schools, you may have a responsibility for educational outcomes in particular fields.

Business Services Manager (BSM)
The Business Services Manager supports and reports to the principal, is responsible for the school office functions and supervises non-teaching staff at the school. The Business Services Manager is a member of the school leadership team.

The role focuses on:

  • delivering corporate services to the school
  • enhancement of non-teaching staff skills
  • supervision of administrative staff.

Specialist teachers

The department provides a range of support services and resources to assist teachers to meet the diverse educational needs of all students. Specialist educational services are provided by teachers with an education degree and a further degree in their particular field.

Special education teachers
The special education teacher's main role is to support the classroom teacher in enabling students with disability to access and participate in the curriculum. Their role requires liaison with parents, classroom teachers and therapists to ensure the educational priorities for students with disability are met. In a special school or special education unit, special education teachers may also be classroom teachers.

Heads of Special Education Services (HOSES) are responsible for special education units or classes delivering educational services to students with disability.

Advisory visiting teacher (AVT)
Advisory visiting teachers (AVTs) support students across a number of schools.

AVTs mainly specialise in one or more of the six Education Adjustment Program (EAP) disability categories:

  • autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • hearing impairment (HI)
  • intellectual impairment (II)
  • physical impairment (PI)
  • speech-language impairment (SLI)
  • vision impairment (VI).

English as a second language/dialect (ESL/D) teacher
ESL/D teachers work within school teams to support ESL/D learners to develop the English language required to access and achieve across the school curriculum.

ESL/D teachers help classroom teachers to work with ESL/D learners in whole class contexts as well as providing intensive teaching to small groups or individual ESL/D students if required.

Guidance officers (GOs)
Guidance officers (GOs) are teachers with additional qualifications and training in the areas of guidance and counselling. GOs are appointed as a regional resource. Each region will allocate GOs to either individual schools or a number of schools, according to regional needs.

Intensive behaviour support officers
Some regional guidance officers work collaboratively with school and regional behaviour support personnel to assess and address the needs of students requiring the most intensive behaviour support.

Health and physical education (HPE) teacher
Health and physical education (HPE) teachers provide a range of learning experiences linked with the Years 1-10 HPE and Senior PE syllabuses. HPE teachers coordinate many sporting co-curricular activities, such as sports day and inter-school sport.

Instrumental music teacher
Instrumental music teachers teach students how to play instruments and facilitate their participation in ensembles, such as concert bands and orchestras. Instrumental music teachers usually work in more than one school, with students from primary schools feeding into secondary school instrumental music programs.

Languages other than English (LOTE) teacher
Language other than English (LOTE) teachers are responsible for teaching a specific language, which may include an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean or Spanish.

Music teacher
Music teachers may work across a number of smaller schools or at one larger school. They assist in creatively integrating music into the classroom. In the secondary setting, music teachers work with the Senior Music Syllabus.

Subject-specialist teacher (secondary)
In the secondary setting, teachers are often trained in one or two specialist teaching areas. Subject specialist teachers will often have a dual degree, where their first degree is in their specialist area and their second degree is in education (for example, Bachelor Arts - Drama/Bachelor Education - Secondary).

Teacher-librarian or resource teacher
Teacher-librarians can have a variety of responsibilities within a school setting. The teacher-librarian provides instruction and access to school resources for students.

​Ancillary and support staff

Ancillary and support staff contribute to the efficient running of a school. Depending on the number of student enrolments, this group may include:

Teacher aides
Teacher aides perform a wide variety of duties to support teaching and learning in schools.

Administrative officer
The administrative officer reports directly to the school principal or in schools that have a Business Services Manager (BSM), directly to the BSM.

Cleaners perform a wide range of tasks to ensure a clean, hygienic and safe environment for teachers and students.

Schools officer
The schools officer (grounds and facilities) ensures that school facilities and grounds are maintained to a high standard. Schools officers are not asked to perform any task that would normally require the services of a qualified tradesperson.

Computer network technicians
Computer network technicians provide support services for computer networking and undertake routine maintenance and repair of computing facilities in the school.

Science technicians
Science technicians help teachers prepare and teach science classes, usually involving specialised equipment and/or chemicals. They may also set up classrooms, assist students in lessons, order and monitor stock.

Agricultural Assistants​​
​Agricultural Assistants support teachers and students to ensure that the agricultural field study sites, animals, crops, machinery and equipment used by the school are maintained in a functional, secure and safe manner.

Professional positions

Registered nurse
Registered nurses provide services to state primary and secondary schools and special schools within a region. They work with school staff to build their competence and confidence to safely manage procedures and interventions required by students with specialised health needs.

They provide assessment, health management planning, training and ongoing support and supervision for students with specialised health needs.

State schools have access to a range of therapists who work with teachers to support eligible students with disability and their education teams. Their role is to facilitate students' participation in the educational process and support the attainment of educational goals.

Therapists working in schools include:

  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • speech-language pathologists.

Social worker
A Social worker​ may be employed in a school to offer extra support to staff, students, their families and the wider community.

Community education counsellor
The community education counsellor (CEC) provides educational counselling and support services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander secondary students and communities.

Last updated 12 July 2021