$1 Billion boost to school infrastructure in record education spend

21 June 2016

The NSW Government will deliver new classrooms, new schools and continue to attack the maintenance backlog as part of record education expenditure in the 2016-17 Budget and a $1 billion boost in infrastructure funding over four years that responds to unprecedented enrolments.

With public schools experiencing a once in a generation spike in enrolments, the NSW Government is responding to the needs of students and parents by:

  • Building more classrooms and schools to respond to growth: Nearly $1 billion extra has been allocated over the next four years, bringing the total schools capital spend to $2.6 billion, up more than 50 per cent from the forward estimates of last year's budget
  • Attacking the maintenance backlog: more than doubling funding for backlog maintenance from $160 million to $330 million over two years to address priority maintenance needs in schools
  • Record spending on education: recurrent funding for education in 2016-17 is $13.7 billion, up by $950 million on last year.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the increased expenditure will support a spike in New South Wales student enrolments which are expected to grow by over 45,000 students over the next four years.

"We want to ensure growing neighbourhoods have the schools that families will need into the future," Mr Piccoli said.

"That is why the 2016-17 Budget commits almost $1 billion of additional funding on infrastructure over the next four years to respond to enrolment growth, including the new $400 million Schools Infrastructure Strategy to focus specifically on growth areas.

"There is also a substantial boost to the NSW Government's maintenance program to keep our public schools in the best possible condition."

The additional $1 billion for new schools and school upgrades will deliver more than 1,100 state of the art classrooms across the State.

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the strength of the NSW Budget means that record funding could be dedicated to ensuring students had both quality teaching and quality environments in which to learn.

"NSW needs world-class schools so students get the support they need to help them reach their full potential," Ms Berejiklian.

Planning will commence immediately to increase capacity as part of the new
Schools Infrastructure Strategy.

New primary schools will be developed at Smalls Road, Ryde and North Kellyville; a senior campus of Cammeraygal High School will be established at Crows Nest; and planning for additional classrooms will begin at Willoughby Public School, Willoughby Girls High School, Fort Street Public School, Oran Park Public School, Rosehill Public School and Curl Curl North Public School. More schools will be announced in coming months.

Mr Piccoli said the Government is delivering on its 2015 election commitments,made possible by NSW signing up to the Gonski funding reforms, to support quality teaching and increase the number of counsellors in NSW schools. Under the agreement, $821 million in additional Gonski funding is available for NSW schools in 2016-17.

The Budget also includes $1.2 billion in funding, an increase of five per cent, to support students in non-government schools.

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