Queensland Geography: 1,730,650 square kilometres: 22.5 % of Australia Population: 3,401,000: 18% of Australia’s population Students: Rural & remote government school students @ total 133,195 (2000): 29% of all Queensland government students. @ Data unavailable on non-government students. Primary schools*: Government schools are 76% of all Queensland primary schools; Catholic schools are 15%; other non-government schools are 10%. Total primary schools: 1,410 including 174 combined primary & secondary. Secondary schools*: Government schools are 60% of all Queensland secondary schools; Catholic schools are 18%; other non-government schools are 22%. Total secondary schools: 437 including 174 combined primary & secondary. * Excludes special schools. Distance education centres: 7 with 6,000 students. Rural & remote schools Government Non-government Special Schools % of total in State 90% 58% 42% 1,132 240 22 Total Commonwealth & State government expenditure per student in all Qld schools - 1997-98: $5,513 Education Queensland priorities Ensuring literacy and numeracy standards in the early years of schooling. Providing schools with modern information technology systems. Exploring virtual classroom options. Improving and expanding VET in schools. Developing professional development for teachers. Planning for the needs of disadvantaged students. Catholic Education priorities Preparation, recruitment and retention of quality staff for rural schools. Ensuring the educational program takes account of the rural background or experience of students and extends their horizons and visions beyond this. The needs of rural children requiring distance education. Provision of quality residential education appropriate to the needs of rural children. Support for the application of technological developments to further the provision of educational services in rural areas. Research and development of appropriate ways of providing education for rural children.