Our commitment to act in the best interests of our stakeholders is at the forefront of our work.
We know the decisions we make will have a direct impact upon our students and their parents, our staff as well as the local community’s living and recreational environment. Instead of solving the issues one-school-at-a-time, there are benefits in planning long term solutions across groupings of schools. Our new approach to Schools Community Planning will create 15 year infrastructure upgrade plans on the understanding that their funding will be subject to the budget cycles of each successive government.
As part of our transformation in the way we plan, develop and deliver schools across the state, we are committed to openly sharing information. This will show how one school compares with its neighbouring group of schools. It also explains the challenges we face in the complex world of schools planning. Part of this transparency means that we will let the community know which schools will be worked on and at what time. It will take time since we have over 2,200 schools across the state, so we will address high growth areas within each district and region across the State first.
As we develop a range of options for addressing school infrastructure requirements, members of the community will be able to see and comment on our proposal before it is finalised. Your feedback is important and will help us refine our planning process. Whilst we cannot commit to implementing everything suggested, engaging with the broader community ensures we’ve considered what’s important to you, and balanced this with practicality and cost to deliver sustainable solutions for schools.
Working with councils other agencies and the private sector
As Sydney expands, student growth will occur in many areas characterised by limited land availability and high land values.
To keep pace with the changing shape of Sydney, we will continue to work with the Greater Sydney Commission, Urban Growth NSW, Landcom, the Land and Housing Corporation, the Department of Planning and Environment and local councils to predict development trends and to ensure schools are embedded in the early planning of new and existing neighbourhoods. School Infrastructure NSW uses the base population projection data as provided by the Department of Planning and Environment which is updated annually and changes as Sydney and other regions grow. Understanding where and when this growth is going to occur is challenging and as a result, our predictions are reviewed and will continue to change annually as new information comes to hand.
Many schools are equipped with open space and other facilities which can be used by the local community without compromising the safety of schools and their operations. Our new approach to school planning will actively seek partnerships with councils, other agencies and the private sector to find more innovative ways to jointly share facilities.
Where feasible, School Infrastructure NSW will actively seek partnerships with the private sector to integrate schools into new developments so that we can provide our students with modern upgraded schools and respond to student trends in the most cost effective way. This will include building schools in mixed use developments whilst ensuring that adequate play space is provided.