The chronic shortage of classrooms in NSW public schools has been revealed in new figures which show over 5,000 demountable classrooms on school grounds.
Obtained under FOI, the Department of Education data reveals a total of 5,093 demountable teaching spaces in public schools last year – the equivalent of 2.3 per school across NSW.
The school-by-school information shows the highest concentrations of demountables are in schools in city electorates, including the Epping seat of the Premier, which has the second highest number of 178. The school with the highest number (81) is also in the Premier’s electorate.
At the same time, newly published information shows the Perrottet Government is giving millions in funding to private schools for new luxury buildings and facilities, including permanent classrooms to replace demountable buildings.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said: “We have a shortage of teachers and a shortage of classrooms and the Perrottet Government denies both problems even exist.
“The number of demountable classrooms is 30 per cent higher than when the Coalition won office in 2011 and they are increasingly being used as permanent solutions to the shortage of permanent classrooms which is totally unacceptable.
“The priorities of this government are all wrong. Despite warnings about a lack of classrooms, they cut over $1 billion from the public school capital works budget in 2021/2022 and our children are the ones who are paying the price.
“While public school students are stuck in demountables, the Perrottet Government is giving millions to private schools to replace them with permanent classrooms and build amphitheatres and digital photography studios.
“These new government figures are only for classrooms and the total number of demountable buildings on public school grounds would be significantly higher.
“This government is failing teachers and failing students in public schools.”
The electorates with the highest numbers of demountable teaching spaces are:
- Riverstone 235
- Epping 178
- Castle Hill 136
- Kellyville 134