Queensland Pathways State College students Jasmine, Ethan, Caleb, Makeeta and Cheyenne.
Queensland Pathways State College students Jasmine, Ethan, Caleb, Makeeta and Cheyenne.

Students with ‘barriers’ given a second chance

A SCHOOL on Brisbane's southside is giving students at risk of falling out of the system a chance at an education and a brighter future.

For the past 18 months, Queensland Pathways State College, which has six campuses across Queensland, has been giving students with "barriers", the tools they need to succeed.

The senior students come from "complex backgrounds" which can involve anything from domestic violence situations and being caught up in the Youth Justice System to having mental health issues.

Principal Kristie de Brenni told the Southern Star the school delivered a year-long seniors transition program which focused on three things, literacy, numeracy and wellbeing.

Queensland Pathways State College students Ethan, Matthew, Sam and Kaylee.
Queensland Pathways State College students Ethan, Matthew, Sam and Kaylee.

Mrs de Brenni said students could then go on to gain employment or further their studies.

"We believe that everyone deserves an education," she said.

The school's points of difference are there are no school fees, there is only one school rule, respect, students do not have to wear uniforms and they are provided breakfast and lunch each day through a range of community partners including the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health and YMCA.

Queensland Pathways State College students Zara (QCE and working full-time), Jude – Head of Campus and Kaylee (QCE and enrolling in nursing next year).
Queensland Pathways State College students Zara (QCE and working full-time), Jude – Head of Campus and Kaylee (QCE and enrolling in nursing next year).

Students can also start their senior school year at any point and finish exactly 12 months later.

There are 230 students QPSC had campuses at Mt Gravatt, Coorparoo, Bracken Ridge, Bundamba, Goodna and Townsville.

The school officially opened in 2018 but prior to this a two-year trial had been undertaken to prove its worth.

Mrs de Brenni said data that had been collected over the past few years showed students were able to do the equivalent workload of Year 10 to 12 in just 12 months.

"The results are amazing," she said.

Queensland Pathways State College student Rachel hard at work.
Queensland Pathways State College student Rachel hard at work.

"It is quite special."

Mrs de Brenni told the Southern Star 100 per cent of the students who had come through the educational facility believed the "school cares about my wellbeing and education".

"They bring us flowers," she said.

"They are so thankful, and so are their parents."

Mrs de Brenni stressed that there was a strict criteria to be accepted into the school and that it was by referral only, either from another school or psychologist.

Mrs de Brenni hopes the school will continue to grow over the coming years.