Specialist schools


​Educational programs are delivered to students from Prep to Year 12 in a variety of different settings. Many of these programs are highly specialised and designed to develop students' capabilities in different academic, creative or sporting endeavours.

Centres for continuing secondary education

Centres for continuing secondary education offer educational programs to adult students. The programs are similar to those offered at state secondary schools.

There are four centres in Queensland specifically set up to provide day and evening classes for adult students. In addition, many mainstream schools also offer flexible programs with part-time or full-time options suitable for adult students.

Hospital schools

Hospital schools provide either classroom or ward-based specialised educational programs for students from Prep to Year 12. A student can be an admitted patient, a sibling of a patient or a child of a patient.

Hospital school teaching staff, in liaison with medical staff, provide a warm, supportive and flexible educational environment for students during their hospital stay.

Outdoor and environmental education centres

Outdoor and environmental education centres (OEECs) develop and deliver outdoor and environmental education programs for schools and the community, and provide professional development for teachers. Programs are linked to the school curriculum and student leadership objectives.

These centres provide information about local environmental issues, and serve as venues for school excursions and camps. Many are available for hire on weekends and school holidays. The centres offer specialised learning programs such as:

  • archaeology and heritage interpretation

  • environmental arts

  • urban renewal

  • water watch investigations.

Queensland Academies

The three Queensland Ac​ademies aim to accelerate learning opportunities for Queensland's best and brightest students in Years 10, 11 and 12.

  • The Queensland Academy for Creative Industries at Kelvin Grove operates in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

  • The Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology at Toowong operates in partnership with the University of Queensland.

  • The new Queensland Academy for Health Sciences operates on the Gold Coast in partnership with Griffith University.

The educational program offered by the academies is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This program is a world-recognised pre-university qualification and characterised by accelerated studies, extension and enrichment work with universities, industry experience and personal and social development.

Schools of distance education

Schools of distance education provide educational programs for students from Prep to Year 12 who are unable to attend a traditional school setting due to geographic isolation, illness or other special circumstances. Schools of distance education also provide services to:

  • families who choose home-based learning

  • adults who are completing their schooling

  • students living overseas.

School-based students who are unable to access desired subjects locally and students attending alternative education settings are also provided with educational programs.

The distance education context places increased emphasis on the use of information and communication technologies and digital learning resources to maximise learning opportunities and improve teacher and student interaction.

Special schools

Special schools provide highly specialised and individual programs in many locations for students with significant support needs, and who have an intellectual impairment. Special schools employ a range of staff including:

  • teachers

  • speech-language pathologists

  • occupational therapists

  • physiotherapists

  • registered nurses.

Educational programs for students with disability are also provided in primary and secondary schools, sometimes within special education units and classes.

Specialist and innovative

More than 70 Queensland state schools engage with industry partners and/or training institutes and universities to create career and educational pathways for students. These gateway schools are part of six networks that offer specialist educational opportunities.

  • The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy works with 25 gateway state schools to offer pathways to careers in the resources sector.

  • Aviation High works with 13 aerospace gateway state schools to provide pathways for students seeking careers in aviation or aerospace. Aviation High focuses on education related to aerospace and works with major aviation and aerospace organisations.

There are also many centres of excellence'​ schools specialising in different academic, creative or sporting endeavours such as:

Last updated 12 February 2021