Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Labor to build better learning spaces for our kids

Around 100,000 students will be returning to demountable classrooms on the first day of school today – compromising the learning environment of one in ten NSW public school students.

Today outlined Labor’s plan to provide permanent classrooms for the thousands of students currently learning in demountables in my electorate

A Labor Government will dedicate an additional $100 million to replace demountable classrooms across NSW with permanent, air-conditioned classrooms - to give our students the world-class facilities they deserve.

We must provide the best possible learning environment, including modern and permanent classrooms, to ensure our kids get the best education and start in life.

But today around 100,000 students will be going back to school in demountable classrooms – a legacy of the Liberals failure to invest in our schools over the last four years. 

Demountables were always meant to be a temporary fix – but students in my electorate like Tempe High School have been stuck in demountables for years.

The Liberals bundled Labor’s Demountable Replacement Program into the wider school capital works budget – and then tore away $280 million. Under this Government, thousands of students have been left in demountables with little prospect of being replaced with permanent, modern classrooms.

Under a Labor Government, the schools with the oldest and highest number of demountables will receive priority through Labor’s additional $100 million in funding.

Education is the number one priority for Labor, and our school facilities should reflect that. Labor will invest in modern, permanent classrooms to give our kids the best education possible and replace the existing ageing, substandard facilities.

Today’s funding announcement is just the first part of Labor’s policy of better planning and investment in our schools – taking a long-term view of our schooling needs to ensure our kids have the best educational opportunities.

Key Facts:
  • There are around 4,500 demountable classrooms in NSW (ten per cent of all teaching spaces) that are used by around 100,000 students. Over 1,000 of these classrooms have been at the same school for at least 10 years. 
  • The previous Labor Government had a Demountable Replacement Program – but the Liberals rolled this into the school capital works budget, and then cut that budget by $280 million.
  • Labor will allocate $100 million over 10 years – in addition to the existing capital works budget – to replace temporary demountable classrooms, libraries and administrative facilities.

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