QLD’s First After-school Homework Centre Program Now In Full Swing

With a mission to help students complete their homework before they go home, Queensland has launched its Homework Centre program, which is now in full swing. The program is expected to benefit more than 1,600 registered students from 120 state primary and high schools across the state, including Darra State School.

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What is a Homework Centre?

A homework centre is a free program where students get to have up to 3 hours sessions per week for 30 weeks per year. The four-year, $8-million Homework Centre program is a state initiative that aims to ease the burden on families by helping students get their homework done before they go home. The sessions are managed by principals and supervised by teacher aides. 

Each participating school will determine the exact operating hours of their homework centre based on needs of families in the school community, and each school will plan their sessions to ensure they are appropriate for the age, learning and development needs of the children attending. A healthy snack will also be provided during a session.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there had been a strong response to the state’s Homework Centre program.

“Ensuring that students have the support they need to do their homework is vital when it comes to setting young people up for success,” the Premier said.

During a visit to Darra State School in July 2021, Education Minister Grace Grace also shared that 17 students out of a capacity for up to 24 participated in a day’s session which shows that there is a need for a service like this within the school community.

At Darra State School,  the centre is open two afternoons each week for 30 of the 40 school weeks each year. Still, Ms Grace reminded that the way the centres run will vary from school to school.

Darra State School Principal Gayle Healey said the school has fully embraced the centre and the proof is in the numbers they have already registered.

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“I also know it’s popular with larger families with one family with four children all enrolled,” Ms Healey said, believing the program is a great opportunity for children to be supported to consolidate what they have learned during school hours.

“Ours is a very multicultural school and already we can see that children from a wide range of cultural backgrounds are enrolled and from across all year levels – I’m sure it will be a great success,” she said.