Add world-class teachers to list of upgrades
THE growing population of school-aged children across Sydney is creating significant challenges for schools and the government as they respond to more enrolments.
No one wants to see overcrowding in schools and with enrolments likely to continue rising, the government has committed billions towards the construction of infrastructure particularly in areas with huge growth.
The investment of capital to build and maintain schools is in the millions.
Secondary schools are double the cost of primary schools plus they need to be furnished, landscaped, secured and maintained.
At a time when politicians, parents and the wider community are demanding more from schools and better outcomes for students, is the massive investment in purpose built schools the best investment we can make?
Certainly where students learn and the conditions in which they learn do impact on how well they learn, but can we justify spending so much on constructing mod- ern replicas of the old factory school?
There are already emerging examples that are challenging traditional thinking.
For example, schools built for less are more environmentally sustainable and serve a range of needs and purposes in communities.
Moreover, schools designed to be agile can take on other uses when a school is no longer required or viable.
If governments want to plan for the future, the best investment they can make is ensuring every student has a world-class teacher, not just a world-class classroom.