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Schooling is compulsory in Queensland for children from 6 years and 6 months until they turn 16, or they complete Year 10 (whichever comes first).
If you want your children to be exempt from compulsory schooling you may need legal advice.
The law considers you to be a parent if you are:
Schooling is compulsory for children from 6 years and 6 months until they turn 16, or they complete Year 10 (whichever comes first).
The Queensland Government website has comprehensive information about enrolment requirements for Queensland schools.
The compulsory participation phase starts when a young person stops being of a compulsory school age (ie they turn 16 or complete Year 10—whichever comes first). It ends when:
During this phase, young people don’t have to go to school, but they do have to be ‘learning or earning’. Visit the Department of Education’s Spark their Future website for more information.
The Department of Education has information about exemptions from compulsory schooling and compulsory participation.
If your child is to be excluded from a state school you will be notified and given an opportunity to discuss or appeal the decision. You should speak with the principal or Education Queensland or get legal advice.
If your child goes to a private school, the school sets its own rules. You should contact the school principal or the organisation that controls the school (the schools governing body eg Catholic Education).
Discrimination happens when a person is treated unfairly because of a legally protected attribute (eg characteristics such as their race, sex, sexuality, disability) in certain areas of public life, like work, school and applying for a rental property.
Schools are bound by most aspects of anti-discrimination law. If you think your children have experienced discrimination at school you should get legal advice.
There are rules about when you can visit children on school grounds. In most schools the principal has control of the school grounds and may exclude people (including parents) from school grounds if necessary.
A school may prohibit a person for 60 days from entering a school if they are posing a risk to other people or property of the school or are causing fear in others or disrupting the good order and management of the school.
The school may apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an order prohibiting a person from entering the school for longer than 60 days up to a year.
Where there is a dispute between you and the other parent of a child, the school will usually want to see a court order before they will make any special arrangements for the child. You should get legal advice. See parenting arrangements.
You may need legal advice if you:
We may give advice to young people who have been excluded, suspended or bullied at school.
Our Anti-Discrimination Unit may give specialist legal advice about anti-discrimination claims at school.
The following organisations may be able to give you legal advice.
Youth Advocacy Centre gives free specialist legal advice and help for young people who have been suspended or excluded from school.
YFS Legal gives legal information and advice to young people aged under 25.
LawRight Self Representation Service (QCAT) gives legal advice and helps people at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for matters including some education matters, or they give advice about other options to help resolve your dispute. They may also help with drafting documents and correspondence relating to your legal matter with QCAT. They don’t provide representation.
Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation.
These organisations may also be able to help. They don’t give legal advice.
Department of Education and Training are responsible for education and training in Queensland.
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) can make decisions about prohibiting a person from entering state or private schools or other types of education centres.
Disclaimer: This page is provided as information only, and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should contact us or speak to a lawyer. View our full disclaimer.
Last updated 10 November 2022