Schools for the Future

Education & Research
by Graham

Education is a current hot topic in the context of an upcoming NSW state election and the current debate about burgeoning urban expansion and densification. Increasing population numbers have had the result of rising school student enrolments. The outcome is a dire need for new and refurbished existing schools. The opportunity in this potential crisis is to create facilities that provide for contemporary learning practices but are flexible enough to adapt to evolving needs in 20 to 40 years.

There were approximately 800,000 enrolments in NSW public school in 2017 and the projected number for 2031 (only 12 years away) is 944,500. This is an increase of approximately 18% on 2017 student numbers. The challenge for government, and by extension the construction industry, is accommodating this growth in a timely way.

Various completed projects across our Education sector.

There have been several initiatives announced by the NSW government to address the increasing demands faced by our school system:

  • Establishment of Schools Infrastructure NSW to deliver and maintain school infrastructure
  • An expanded program of major and minor projects. An additional $1.6 billion committed to bring the total to $4.2 billion over the next four years
  • Increased community engagement to meet public expectations
  • Investigation of vertical schools in densely populated urban areas such as Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta

Edmiston Jones’ thematic focus for 2019 is human centred design and this is particularly relevant to education facilities. Schools in particular are all about people – students, teachers, support workers and the broader community. They lay the foundation for our future and the institutions must be thoughtfully designed to facilitate this undertaking.

Edmiston Jones looks forward to continuing the discussion throughout the year and particularly at our Human Centred Education event on the 16th May. Watch this space!


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