Rebuilding NSW: $1 billion to build schools and transform classrooms

The NSW Government will invest $1 billion in funding from Rebuilding NSW to build new schools and transform existing classrooms to meet the future learning needs of our students, Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli announced today.

"The needs of teachers and students are changing and this is a wonderful opportunity to build new schools, better use existing facilities and respond to the opportunities presented by technology," Mr Piccoli said.

"The NSW Government has earmarked $1 billion of Rebuilding NSW funds to create a 10-year Future Focused Schools program for education infrastructure to service growing student populations.

"Rebuilding NSW funding will help to meet our need for new public schools, which Infrastructure NSW estimates to be equivalent to a demand for 6,250 more classrooms by 2031.

"This investment, along with improving the way we utilise existing facilities, will ensure NSW can continue to provide high quality public education to the State's students."

Mr Piccoli said the new State Infrastructure Strategy estimates the number of children enrolling in NSW public schools is set to increase by 23 per cent by 2031.

Rebuilding NSW will build on the existing school building program. New schools currently being built include:

  • Canada Bay Public School (opening 2015);
  • The Ponds — Public School, High School and Special School (2015);
  • Lake Cathie Public School (2015);
  • a new public primary school in Cammeray (2016); and
  • Wentworth Point Public School (2017).

"The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is targeting $300 million of the Rebuilding NSW funds for schools in rural and regional NSW," Mr Piccoli said.

"These communities will benefit from the technology-rich spaces that will enable flexible, collaborative and problem-based teaching and learning."

Mr Piccoli said that this investment is only possible by recycling capital from our leased electricity network businesses.

"The Government is committed to a transaction that puts the public's interests first and ensures consumers are protected," he said.

In line with Infrastructure NSW's recommendations, the Government will explore opportunities for partnerships with local councils, universities, and other providers. Benefits to the community could include improved access to out-of-school hours care, libraries, halls and playing fields.

The Government will prepare a funded School Asset Strategic Plan that manages the projected capital expenditure requirements for teaching space supply to 2031. This work will build on commitments in the State Infrastructure Strategy to explore a range of options to improve asset utilisation. The new approach will also require greater coordination between the departments of Education and Communities and Planning.

Mr Piccoli said TAFE NSW will also benefit with the NSW Government agreeing to Infrastructure NSW's recommendations to allow TAFE greater flexibility to manage its assets.

"Local TAFE Institutes are best placed to make decisions about the infrastructure required to meet expected training demand, including having the flexibility to invest in facilities that expand online delivery of courses," he added.

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