A new report by the Queensland Schools Planning Commission (QSPC) indicates that between 99 and 119 new schools will need to be built across the State before 2031. Intermedium estimates that up to 5 per cent of funding allocated for these schools will be expended on establishing the school’s ICT environment. The estimate incorporates not just the ICT infrastructure (cabling, LAN etc) but the audio visual (smartboards, projectors) and various end user devices (eg laptops or tablets for teachers) a contemporary learning environment will require.
The QSPC has found that up to 83 extra primary schools and 36 secondary schools will be required in the next 20 years to cope with increasing demand in Queensland’s top 30 high growth areas.
It is expected that as many as 257,000 extra school-ages children will be living in Queensland by 2031, driving the expansion of the schools network.
The majority of the new schools will be needed in the development areas of Yarrabilba, Flagstone, Coomera, Pimpama, Beaudesert, Ormeau-Oxenford, Mackay, Cairns-South, and Narangba-Burpengary.
Intermedium used the same 5 per cent estimate for the school-building investment announced in the Victorian 2014-15 Budget, and the resultant calculations are included in its BudgetIT tool.
Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek, said the Queensland Government will look to begin work on building schools.
“Under our draft Strong Choices Investment Program, we’ve proposed to allocate $1 billion to the Future Schools Fund,” Mr Langbroek said.
This report marks the first time that the Queensland Government has released school infrastructure planning data to the public, drawing on information from the state, Catholic and independent school sectors combined.