It's back to school for Gympie students today.
It's back to school for Gympie students today. Sandra Cunningham

First day of school for 566 Gympie region preppies

AT LEAST 566 Gympie region preppies hit the books for the first time yesterday as the 2019 school year began across the country.

The region's latest batch of first years joined 47,000 children starting Prep in state schools across Queensland.

One Mile State School principal Stuart Bell said the 59 prep students enrolled in the 2019 cohort was up on last year's number.

One Mile State School Principal Stuart Bell reflects on the devastating fire which ripped through the school just over a year ago.
One Mile State School Principal Stuart Bell. Josh Preston

Mr Bell said seeing the new students' enthusiasm "sets up for a good start to the year”.

"When I went around to the classrooms after they had the chance to settle in they looked very settled and happy to say hello,” he said.

"They were enjoying the classroom setting and they were very keen to be here.”

Mr Bell said he was also thrilled to see his youngest son among the latest batch of One Mile first years.

Education Qld figures have 830,000 students heading back to school this week, the state's highest ever overall enrolment.

Five hundred and sixty thousand of those students are enrolled in 1241 state schools and 270,000 at Catholic or Independent schools.

The State Government said it would employ more than 1000 teachers and 200 teacher aides this year as part of its commitment to employ more than 3700 extra teachers over four years.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the first day back was also an opportunity celebrate teachers, teacher aides, principals and other school support staff.

As well as being a special day for students, their parents and carers, the first day of the new school year is also a day to celebrate our educators and support staff who do a tremendous job educating our next generation,” Ms Grace said.

"The Department of Education has already recruited more than 800 additional teachers for the new school year and will employ around 200 more during the year.

"With the increase in enrolments the department is also employing more than 200 additional teach aides.”

The Gympie Times will be taking photographs of all the region's preppies and publish them in a special keepsake publication on Wednesday, March 27.