Future schools

The ACT Government recently released its Infrastructure Plan. We’ve summarised what it includes for schools.

The plan starts with the aim that every Canberra child has access to a great local school close to home, and is enabled to reach their potential through high quality, technology-based learning.

Student numbers growing

ACT Public school enrolments have grown by 26% since 2010 and are expected to increase a further 32% in the next 10 years. The growth comes from a shift from private to public schools (3% for primary schools from 2011-2018), natural population growth, and migration. Enrolments from NSW residents are also increasing as communities such as Googong, Murrumbateman and Queanbeyan grow.

Building, growing and upgrading schools

In the next five years the ACT Government has committed to new schools and upgrades:

  • Gungahlin: New primary school at Throsby (opens 2022), high school at Kenny (2023), expansion of Franklin Early Childhood School and additional places at Gold Creek, Amaroo and Neville Bonner, and ‘investigating options for an additional college facility in Canberra’s North’ (could be in inner north).
  • Molonglo: New P-6 school in Denman Prospect will open in 2021.
  • Central Canberra: Modernise Campbell Primary and Narrabundah College to ‘create a more comfortable learning environment and meet rising demand’. (The Narrabundah College website is currently taking public input on the college upgrade.) 

The plan also states that the Government will:

  • modify facilities to improve accessibility and support students with complex needs
  • deliver up to date ICT infrastructure
  • reduce emissions and pursue environmental sustainability
  • improve school safety through car parking and traffic management upgrades as well as installing security-related infrastructure.

Looking further ahead, planned priorities include:

  • further high school expansions in Gungahlin, North and South Canberra
  • expansions for primary schools in the ‘Northern Gateway’ (area around EPIC, Watson and Northbourne Av.)
  • expanding Canberra College
  • feasibility studies to inform future school needs from urban renewal in Belconnen and Woden Town Centres
  • new schools will be needed in Ginninderry, and additional P-6 schools are planned for Whitlam and ‘Molonglo 3’
  • additional transportable classrooms. 

This article appeared in ParentACTion Magazine, Term 4, 2019.