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AQ School

Please note: Fees apply. 

NOTICE: Autism Queensland is also considering opening campuses in Mackay and Rockhampton. Read more.

AQ School strives to provide our students with the best education possible in a supportive environment that meets their individual needs and fosters their aspirations.
We are committed to nurturing students to be happy, healthy, successful and productive by providing small class learning opportunities, interdisciplinary support, personalised learning goals and access to a functional and sequential curriculum.

AQ School students must have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Students are grouped in multi-aged classes with consideration given to the age, curriculum access levels and individual adjustments required to ensure class dynamics are safe, functional and offer continuous learning opportunities.

Our small school offers a selection of full time and part time (via shared enrolment) enrolment options for students from Prep – Year 12.

Brighton Campus

Year Levels: Prep to Year 12.

Enrolment/Educational Program:

  • 2-day program
  • 3-day program
  • Full-time program (Prep – Year 3 and Years 7 – 12)
Sunnybank Hills Campus

Year Levels: Prep to Year 12.

Enrolment/Educational Program:

  • 2-day program
  • 3-day program
  • Full time program (Prep – Year 3 and Years 7 – 12)
  • Full time Distance Education (Years 3 – 6)
Brightwater Campus (Coming Soon)

We are taking expressions of interest for 2025 enrolment (subject to accreditation) for the following:

Year Levels: Prep to Year 10.

Enrolment/Educational Program:

  • 2-day program
  • 3-day program
  • Full-time program (Prep – Year 10)
Cairns Campus

Year Levels: Prep to Year 6.

Enrolment/Educational Program:

  • 2-day program
  • 3-day program
  • Full-time program (Prep – Year 3)

AQ School’s flexible and personalised educational program has been developed to support our diverse population of students and includes:
  • Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) to support access to and engagement with learning.
  • Personalised curriculum decision making to support students to access the Australian Curriculum Learning Areas.
  • Consultation and collaboration with students, families, the AQ interdisciplinary team, and other stakeholders including the student’s shared enrolled school team.
  • An interdisciplinary team of teachers, teacher aides, therapists, wellbeing and behaviour support facilitators provide universal, targeted and specialist support.
  • AQ School Universal Supports applied within the classroom and playground areas.
  • Explicit teaching to support wellbeing, relationships, and regulation needs.
  • Clear, positive, and structured learning environments.

Curriculum Access

We are an accredited independent special school delivering the Australian Curriculum.

Curriculum access for our students accessing Foundation (Prep) to Year 10 curriculum (F-10 ) or the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) curriculum is prioritised into MUST, SHOULD, and COULD access. This supports the personalised curriculum decision making for our students in order to provide a functional and continuous educational program for students who require Extensive or Substantial educational adjustments (NCCD).

Curriculum decisions for classes and individual students considers:

  • Learning history including access to/progress with learning area content throughout the year and from year to year.
  • Days of attendance at AQ School (e.g. Part time, full time, transitioning in/out).
  • Personalised wellbeing, safety and or health needs that impact/may impact access to, and engagement with, the curriculum each semester.

All students accessing F-10 curriculum have the opportunity to participate in small class learning opportunities within the English, Maths and HPE learning areas. Other learning areas are considered and accessed as needed.

Interdisciplinary Support

The AQ School’s interdisciplinary team approach to assessment, planning, teaching, and reporting involves teachers, teacher aides, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, wellbeing facilitators and behaviour support facilitators.

This team works to provide evidence-informed universally available supports throughout the school including:

  • Environmental supports (staff and student relationships, the classroom and playground environment including sensory considerations).
  • Social and emotional supports (regulation support, self-advocacy, social participation).
  • Instructional supports (structured teaching, multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression, language accessibility).
  • Behavioural supports (school values and expectations, active supervision, enabling safe behaviours and responding to unsafe behaviours).
  • Individual supports (Personalised Learning Plans, individual adjustments, collaborative goal setting and transition planning).

Student Wellbeing & Engagement

We support our students to be happy, healthy, successful and productive through:
  • A strengths based approach.
  • Student involvement in goal setting and planning supports.
  • Transition supports.
  • Explicit teaching of Australian Curriculum personal and social capabilities to support independence, self-advocacy, and social awareness and social management.
  • Monitoring and support for attendance and engagement.
  • Campus wellbeing and behaviour support facilitators.
  • Check ins and regulation supports.
  • Regular review of personalised plans and progress.

Senior School Program

The Senior Schooling program for full time students in years 10-12 aims to support those students who have chosen a QCIA pathway which allows them to access a personalised senior program with autism specific adjustments and supports.

This class also supports students to develop positive peer friendships, confidence, success, and allows strengths-based learning.

Senior students working towards a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA) access a fully individualised QCIA Curriculum Plan developed by key stakeholders and approved by Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) within the five curriculum organisers: 

  • Communication and technologies
  • Community, citizenship, and the environment
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Personal and living dimensions
  • Vocational and transition activities.

Senior student agency in their curriculum planning and delivery is supported by evidence-informed strategies and resources including use of the Adolescent/Adult Goal Setting Tool (AAGST), explicit support for Senior Education and Training (SET) planning or revision, development of consistent learning relationships, the provision of a consistent learning environment, the use of student strengths and interests, and myWAY Employability resources for adolescents with autism. Supported work experience placements are also identified for senior students.

Distance Education

Enrolment in the Distance Education offered by AQ School is an option for students who meet Student With Disability (SWD) eligibility criteria and due to regional location are unable to attend one of the Education and Therapy Centres located in Brisbane at Brighton and Sunnybank Hills and in Cairns at Edmonton.*

AQ School’s Distance Education provides students with the opportunity to learn from home by interacting daily with the interdisciplinary team remotely. Technology plays a part in allowing the distance learning program to take place.

AQ School’s Distance Education has been designed for students in years 3 – 6. The students engage in Australian Curriculum Learning Areas of English, Maths and HPE with other Learning Areas included in individual students’ programs. The curriculum content, instruction and learning resources are provided by the interdisciplinary team and accessed by the home supervisor and student via online platforms. Each student has a Personalised Learning Plan (PLP) which is developed collaboratively. The student’s PLP details key strategies and adjustments to supporting distance learning along with personalised learning goals.

There are limited vacancies within our Distance Education program for children in years 3-6 for the 2024 school year. Get in touch for further information about the program.

*NB: Priority will be given to students from remote and regional areas – as we aim to provide specialist schooling options for students across Queensland.


More about Distance Education & General Enquiries

Benefits of the Distance Education offered by AQ School:

  • Students can engage in learning without having to be physically present in an AQ School.
  • The student’s daily and weekly distance education schedule can be flexible.
  • Students can receive real time instruction and feedback from their interdisciplinary team.
  • Students can interact with other classmates, via online environments established by the interdisciplinary team.
  • Students have the flexibility to access materials, review content and practice skills at their own pace and as many times as necessary.
  • Students can demonstrate knowledge and independent proficiency in skills through the development and sharing of an online personal portfolio.
  • Some of the barriers, which make attendance in a mainstream school challenging, do not need to be navigated.
  • Students can continue to access support from personal therapists in and around their daily and weekly learning schedule.

Attendance in the Distance Education offered by AQ School is measured by the student’s regular engagement in his or her program and frequent sharing of student’s work at his/her independent and individual level.

To learn more about AQ School Distance Education, eligibility, technology requirements and how Distance Education can help your family, please download the attached flyer below.


Important Considerations

AQ School’s Distance Education has many benefits; however, there are also potential challenges. To assist parents to determine the suitability of the distance education program and the specific benefits for their learner it helps to consider and discuss the following questions.

  1. Where in the home can a positive learning environment be set up and what items will need to be included?
  2. Who will assume the consistent role of the home supervisor and what time does this person have available for this role?
  3. What skills has the student acquired that will benefit his or her engagement in the distance learning program?
  4. What changes or additions will be required to your family’s daily and weekly schedule to accommodate learning from home?
The AQ Distance Education team is on hand to answer all of your questions.

What is Part-Time (or Shared) Enrolment?

Students can enrol and attend an AQ School campus part-time in combination with shared enrolment at their local primary, distance education or high school.

Part time class enrolments include either two- or three-days attendance at AQ School. The decision for two- or three-day enrolment is made on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on criteria which impact school attendance and engagement and/or access to learning.

The part-time format of our school-based group program is specifically designed to:

  • Enable students to maintain a connection with their peer group and their local school curriculum.
  • Enable students to practice and develop skills for generalisation.
  • Continue social connection with their local community.
  • Provide an opportunity for observation, data collection and sharing of expertise among key stakeholders.

AQ School comprises three Education and Therapy Centres located in Brisbane at Brighton and Sunnybank Hills and in Cairns at Edmonton.

Sunnybank Hills Campus

What’s on offer at AQ School Sunnybank Hills?

Located in the outer southern suburbs of Brisbane, the AQ School Sunnybank Hills Campus supports Prep-Year 12 autistic students. Our Sunnybank Hills campus features small classrooms to encourage participation and engagement, interactive learning equipment, outdoor shaded play areas, swimming pool, quiet spaces, hall, kitchens for learning, gardens and more. School transport assistance including a bus service is available from all campuses, once your child has settled into our school.

Our Distance Education program is also delivered from our Sunnybank Hills campus.

Find us at:

AQ School Sunnybank Hills
437 Hellawell Road, Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109

Contact Us

Brighton Campus

What’s on offer at AQ School Brighton?

Located in the coastal northern suburbs of Brisbane, the AQ School Brighton Campus supports Prep-Year 12 autistic students. Our Brighton campus features small classrooms to encourage participation and engagement, interactive learning equipment, outdoor shaded play area, basketball court, quiet spaces, vegetable gardens and more. School transport assistance including a bus service is available from all campuses, once your child has settled into our school.

Find us at:

AQ School Brighton
136 North Road, Brighton QLD 4017

Contact Us

Brightwater Campus (Coming Soon)

Stay tuned for more information about our new campus, expected to open in 2025. 

When it opens on the Sunshine Coast, the AQ School Brightwater Campus will be AQ School’s fourth across Queensland. The school has been designed to cater enrolments of up to 72 students when at capacity, with options for both full and part-time (shared enrolment with students’ local primary or high school) attendance for students between Prep to Year 10.

We are taking expressions of interest for 2025 enrolments at Brightwater (subject to accreditation approval). Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.


Learn More

Cairns Campus

What’s on offer at AQ School Cairns?

Located in the southern suburbs of Cairns in far North Queensland, the AQ School Cairns Campus supports Prep-Year 6 autistic students. Our Cairns campus features small classrooms to encourage participation and engagement, interactive learning equipment, outdoor shaded play area, sensory playground, quiet spaces and more. School transport assistance including a bus service is available from all campuses, once your child has settled into our school.

Find us at:

AQ School Cairns
15-17 Marr Street, Edmonton QLD 4869

Contact Us

Enquiry & Enrolment Process

Below graphic outlines the steps of the AQ School initial enquiry and enrolment process. Scroll further down for fee information.

*An EOI does not guarantee an offer of enrolment. Each application is processed and considered in accordance with the AQ School Educational Program, resources available, confirmed vacancies, and the applicant’s individual education and support needs. The final decision is made by the principal.  

Criteria for Ongoing Enrolment

The AQ School may terminate the enrolment at any time where:

  • The student is or becomes unable to participate in the small group setting.

  • The student demonstrates unsafe behaviour towards self and others.

  • The student is unable to participate without the need for ongoing one-to-one support.

  • Continued enrolment in the AQ School poses an unacceptable health or safety risk to staff, students, parents and/or themselves.  This includes, without limitation, where the parent’s actions pose the health and safety risk.

  • A parent breaches the terms of the Enrolment Agreement or any of AQ’s policies and procedures.

  • Failure to act on any notices issued by AQ’s Financial Services Department regarding outstanding school fees.

 Should these criteria not be met, a meeting will be arranged at the earliest opportunity to discuss options and consider alternative arrangements to better meet the educational needs of your child and/or your circumstances. This discussion will also be confirmed in writing.

While ongoing enrolment at AQ School may be of benefit to your child and family, AQ School acknowledge that the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff is paramount and necessarily overrides any such benefits. This may mean that AQ School does not always act in accordance with your requests or wishes, particularly if enrolment and ongoing enrolment significantly impacts the safety of your child, other students and/or staff and/or the capacity of AQ School to provide reasonable educational adjustments to your child without causing itself unjustifiable hardship.

Whilst the AQ School will use its best endeavours to achieve any agreed goals and desired outcomes for the student, under no circumstances does AQ warrant or guarantee that the AQ School will produce any particular result or outcome that the student and/or their parents/carers may wish or seek a particular result or outcome.

Please refer to AQ’s Discontinuation Or Suspension Of Services Policy & Procedure for further clarification.

School Fees

Enrolments at our school are subsidised by Australian and State Government funding, however school fees are still applicable and are invoiced at the beginning of each school term.

Please note that NDIS funds cannot be used for school related purposes including the payment of AQ school fees or enrolment deposits.

Termly School Fees are liable for the duration of a student’s enrolment and are not reimbursed for periods of non-attendance such as sick days, holidays and transition periods. Discounts are available for families who pay before the due date, and we also encourage families to take advantage of AQ’s partnership with Edstart Plus which provides increased flexibility and options for payment. Learn more.

Some families may be eligible for fee relief and or concessions, determined on a case-by-case basis.

EDSTART Payment Plans (Optional)

AQ has partnered with a specialist provider, Edstart, to make managing your school fee payments easier. Edstart offers an easy, flexible and zero-cost way for you to pay for your child’s education in periodic instalments that suit your family budget, with no credit checks.

This new payment option will allow you to spread your fees into weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments over 12 months, with the ability to choose your preferred day for when payments are made. Families will continue to have the ability to pay termly through AQ School if they wish.

What are the benefits for families?

  • Families have the option to either pay the school upfront directly (termly/annually) or pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly to align fee payments to their budget with Edstart.
  • Edstart will pay each family’s invoice to the school in full every term. Families can choose their preferred payment method, when payments are made, and adjust this at any time.
  • The school absorbs all transaction fees associated with Edstart so it’s free for parents to use.

What does this process look like for families?

  • Easy account set-up: families submit their details via the dedicate Edstart website.
  • Finalise your account: the Edstart team will contact you to finalise the set up of your Edstart account.
  • Edstart pays your fees when the invoice is received and families pay Edstart via their preferred payment plan.

With your child’s outcomes at the heart of what we do, parent fees are crucial to the school’s sustainability. While we put our resources into the highest quality education, growth and continued new initiatives, Edstart are the experts in their field and are best placed to assist our families moving forward. We are always here to help with any concerns and will work closely with Edstart for a smooth transition.

If your child is enrolled at AQ School and you would like to set up your payments through Edstart, please contact them directly below or set up your account via our Edstart online portal.

P: 1300 139 445
E: [email protected]


2024 School Calendar

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