Glen Innes will miss out on a $5 billion plan to address overcrowding in NSW public schools.
The state government funding will see $2.2 billion injected into new infrastructure to more than 120 primary and high schools across the state, combined with a commitment in last year’s budget to spend $2.6 billion on education infrastructure until 2019-20.
But Glen Innes won’t see a dime.
A spokesperson from the Department of Education said it was because Glen Innes public schools aren’t expected to match the unprecedented explosion in student numbers that is being predicted for areas like Sydney and Wagga Wagga.
“The Department monitors population and development trends so that it can plan to meet enrolment needs in schools across NSW,” the spokesperson said.
“It works closely with the Department of Planning and Environment and councils to monitor population growth and to ensure that its strategies accommodate for growth.
“No public schools in the Glen Innes, Inverell, Tenterfield and Guyra areas are currently experiencing enrolments that are putting pressure on accommodation.”
But there is still a need for investment in infrastructure and maintenance, Glen Innes Teacher’s Association Vice President Mercurius Goldstein said.
“We welcome the NSW government’s extra investment in new school infrastructure,” Mr Goldstein said.
“We are also aware for a need of maintenance in our existing schools such as not having hot water taps to wash our hands on very cold winter mornings in Glen Innes.
“While we welcome this money … we do need also to continue working with the government for the maintenance needs of our existing schools.”
The billion-dollar plan includes the creation of a new delivery unit – School Infrastructure NSW.
“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,” Education Minister Rob Stokes said in a statement announcing the unit last month.
He said government schools alone are projected to grow by 21 per cent, or an additional 164,000 students by 2031.