Education Minister Rob Stokes today announced the establishment of a powerful new delivery unit to oversee the planning, supply and maintenance of NSW schools.
Education Infrastructure NSW will ensure there is sufficient supply of learning spaces in government schools to meet the significant growth in student numbers predicted over the next 15 years.
Government schools alone are projected to grow by 21 per cent, or an additional 164,000 students by 2031, with the majority of this growth expected to take place in Sydney.
Mr Stokes said soaring public education enrolments was due to a baby boom, a strong NSW economy attracting young families and world-class academic standards.
"It's great news that in many parts of NSW there are strong increases in student numbers in government schools and this is a trend expected to grow in the years ahead," Mr Stokes said.
"The establishment of the new agency underlines the high priority the NSW Government is placing on effectively responding to this growth."
Mr Stokes said Education Infrastructure NSW will supply learning spaces that support modern teaching pedagogy, provide sufficient play space, and incorporate sustainable design principles.
The initiative follows the blueprint of other major NSW Government service delivery agencies, such as health and transport, that have established dedicated asset planning and delivery agencies.
A central focus for the unit will be ensuring that consultation with local communities takes place early in the process of planning for new and upgraded school infrastructure to ensure it reflects community aspirations.
Among the specific challenges Education Infrastructure NSW will be required to deliver on is ensuring the Department's maintenance backlog is effectively managed. The agency will also be tasked with implementing joint community use and partnership models to provide cost effective and community-focused solutions.
The creation of the new unit with a single focus on infrastructure delivery will enable the Department of Education to maintain focus on its strengths, continuing to deliver the high quality teaching and learning outcomes that are attracting a growing number of students to NSW government schools.
The NSW Government will begin advertising the position of chief executive of Education Infrastructure NSW this week.