Prep year now compulsory in Queensland

Published Thursday, 01 September, 2016 at 04:59 PM


Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism and Major Events
The Honourable Kate Jones

State Parliament today passed legislation ensuring all Queensland children benefit from a full-time Prep year before starting Year 1.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones said compulsory prep was among a range of education reforms passed in the Education and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.

“My Government wants all Queensland students to benefit from a fulltime Prep year before starting Year 1,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We want to build on the Government’s provision of 15 hours each week of kindergarten for all our four-year-olds.”

Ms Jones said participation in Prep improves a child’s educational outcomes and was a critical foundation year for schooling.

“Importantly, this does not lower the compulsory school age. Parents will continue to have flexibility in terms of the age at which they may enrol their child in Prep, provided the child is enrolled and attending school from the age of compulsory schooling of 6 years and 6 months.”

The Bill also improves the regulation of the teaching profession and allows the College to act to maintain the high standards expected of teachers.

Key amendments to the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 will streamline governance arrangements for the Queensland College of Teachers, strengthen the ability of the College to act to protect students and improve the teacher disciplinary framework.

Ms Jones said the legislation has lowered the threshold for the College to suspend teacher registration in cases where it reasonably believes the teacher poses an unacceptable risk of harm to a child.

“This improves the ability of the College to protect children and maintain public confidence in the teaching profession,” he said.

“Another important change to the teacher disciplinary framework is to allow the College’s disciplinary committee to consider teacher impairment when hearing minor disciplinary matters.

“This is a positive change to consider teacher impairment in a more supportive and non-punitive way.”

The new law also creates a regulatory mechanism for the recovery of state and federal funding that has been overpaid to a non-state school.

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