Building schools and skills

NSW has the largest public school system in Australia. It provides access to quality lifelong learning and ensures that we have the skills we need for the jobs of the future.

The NSW Government is investing $4.2 billion in infrastructure projects over the four years to 2020–21, to build and upgrade more than 120 schools. This will create 32,000 more student places and 1,500 new classrooms across NSW. This is the NSW Government’s biggest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of the state.

We expect a surge in NSW public school enrolments and are planning ahead so our school system can accommodate this growth. As part of improving how we plan and deliver schools to 2031 and beyond under the School Assets Strategic Plan, we are:

  • ensuring that our schools can flexibly accommodate increasing student numbers with school expansions and modular buildings
  • involving the community in new approaches to planning. Instead of upgrading education infrastructure one school at a time, we are collaborating with the community to determine how best to distribute students and deliver new and upgraded facilities within an area or region
  • making it easier for school infrastructure projects to start by streamlining the approvals process in a new education-based State Environmental Planning Policy
  • investigating how we can better harness innovative technologies and equip our education facilities for the digital age.

We are also working on innovative partnership opportunities. By further developing TAFE NSW’s digital capabilities and asset management, we will see an increase in the use of shared facilities with businesses, schools, local government, industry, the university sector and other NSW Government agencies. This will help improve the skills of NSW’s future workforce, grow the NSW economy in an increasingly competitive global environment, and ensure TAFE NSW can compete with other vocational education and training (VET) providers. 

The NSW Government will prepare a long-term TAFE Infrastructure Strategy to examine assets, access and partnerships.

Key actions

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive School Assets Strategic Plan management and reporting framework
  • Establish a consultation framework to consider community views, and whole-of-government and place-based outcomes in the delivery of new and upgraded schools
  • Develop a program to progressively convert existing permanent learning spaces to future learning environments
  • Prepare a School Energy Strategy and a Schools Digital Transformation Strategy
  • Prepare a business case for a Connecting Metropolitan Schools program to improve digital connectivity in metropolitan schools
  • Facilitate facility shared-use arrangements between schools and with community organisations
  • Prepare a 20-year TAFE NSW Infrastructure Strategy
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