Record $6 billion NSW schools spend but no new West Dapto school

The NSW government will deliver funding for 170 new or upgraded schools over the next four years.

But the $6 billion budget spend to create an extra 2000 classrooms for almost 44,000 more students, will not include any new schools being built in the growth suburb of West Dapto.

The 40 new and upgraded school projects that have already been announced, do however include Dapto Public School and Wollongong Public School.

While Gwynneville Public School is part of the 110 ongoing “major school infrastructure” projects underway.

The spending comes as enrolments balloon at Sydney schools, leaving many over capacity and needing to rely on demountables to cope with the unprecedented surge.

Demountables are a “concern” at Dapto PS, but the school’s P&C president Tony Baerwinkel welcomed “any investment in facilities at Dapto Public School that provides a long term benefit to the community of West Dapto”.

Future of schools: The $12m Gwynneville Public Schools redevelopment will be "future focused". Artist's impression: Hayball/NSW Education

Future of schools: The $12m Gwynneville Public Schools redevelopment will be "future focused". Artist's impression: Hayball/NSW Education

“We don’t have the demographic data the Department of Education uses in their planning, so we aren’t sure if or when additional schools will be required in the West Dapto growth area,” he said.

“It is clear that development under way in the area will continue to steadily grow the population of Dapto Public for the foreseeable future.

“It makes sense to replace the 14 existing demountables on site with permanent classrooms, and expand accommodation so the school can continue to function effectively for the coming decade or more.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, said next Tuesday’s budget would represent the largest investment in schools by any state government in history.

“We are in the midst of a school building program NSW has never before experienced and this year’s budget takes this to a whole new level,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said all new and upgraded schools were being designed with sustainability in mind and to accommodate best practice in teaching and learning.

The government also announced on Thursday a continued blitz on school maintenance, with $160 million set to be spent in 2018/19.

Expansion: Wollongong Public School will be able to grow by nearly 40 per cent, taking in an extra 161 students. Artist's impression: Hayball/NSW Education.

Expansion: Wollongong Public School will be able to grow by nearly 40 per cent, taking in an extra 161 students. Artist's impression: Hayball/NSW Education.

As part of the program, up to 1000 schools will receive air conditioning at a cost of $500 million.

But the Shadow Minister for the Illawarra, Ryan Park was disappointed “not a single dollar” was set aside for the 16 schools in his Keira electorate.

He said there were 52 demountable classrooms across the Keira electorate, but not a single one will be upgraded into a permanent classroom.

“Another budget and another kick in the guts for the Keira electorate. This Liberal Government loves nothing more than ignoring our area,” Mr Park said.