$35 million to upgrade connected communities schools

The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced a $35 million capital investment and maintenance program to improve facilities in some of the state's most disadvantaged rural and remote schools.

Mr Piccoli said the program, to be delivered over four years, includes $25 million to undertake substantial rebuilds and refurbishments at three Connected Communities schools, and a further $10 million for maintenance and minor works in another 13 schools.

"Walgett Community College High School and Moree East Public School will undergo substantial rebuilds and refurbishments, and Brewarrina Central School will also be refurbished," Mr Piccoli said.

The Connected Communities schools that will undergo maintenance and minor works are:

  • Boggabilla Central School
  • Bourke High School
  • Bourke Public School
  • Coonamble High School
  • Coonamble Public School
  • Hillvue Public School
  • Menindee Central School
  • Moree High School
  • Taree High School
  • Taree Public School
  • Toomelah Public School
  • Walgett Community College Primary School
  • Wilcannia Central School

"In most instances the works will improve the physical appearance of the school, with the aim of improving the teaching and learning environment for students and teachers," Mr Piccoli said.

"In September this year I visited a number of schools in regional and remote NSW. The condition of many of these schools was unacceptable, and would not be tolerated in any other part of NSW.

"In the past governments have determined what capital works and maintenance projects will be undertaken in schools, often without any consultation with the school community.

"While significant funds have been allocated for the schools that will be rebuilt or refurbished, the exact details of these projects will be determined in consultation with local school communities to ensure the schools receive the facilities they actually need.

"The NSW Government's Connected Communities strategy puts schools at the heart of their communities by linking school education to other services, such as health, welfare, early childhood education and care, and vocational education and training.

"We have hand-picked experienced principals to lead these schools, and they are the highest-paid public school principals in NSW.

"But if we are serious about improving educational outcomes in regional areas, and amongst Aboriginal students in particular, we must also address the infrastructure issues in these schools," Mr Piccoli said.

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