Page 620 - Week 02 - Thursday, 14 February 2013

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MS BURCH: I thank the member for her continued interest. The school environment, including its built environment, is important to the ongoing engagement and learning of students. These two new schools—the next generation of schools in the ACT—provide outstanding spaces for children to learn. These two schools are built with their students in mind. I particularly like, for example, the mosaic of mirrors in the windows in the shape of children playing on the lines along the walls at Franklin at just the right height for a preschooler. That shows the level of detail and thinking that has gone into these schools.

It is the kind of attention to detail that is a great tribute to the design and construction team, who understand what they have been asked to do. They understand the clear link between the built environment and the student alcoves. I once again congratulate them and the directorate.

The Bonner Primary School is the latest school in the Gungahlin region and adds to a number of fantastic schools already in the Gungahlin area. It will relieve enrolment pressures on other government schools in Gungahlin and will eventually accommodate a total enrolment of almost 530 students across preschool to year 6. The school provides an essential preschool and primary school facility.

With the Franklin Early Childhood School, the parents have additional choice of seeking access to early childhood-specific education, and this joins the Narrabundah, Isabella Plains and Lyons schools and the Southern Cross school at Scullin providing early childhood education. We will also accommodate around 280 students from preschool to year 2, and that is in addition to the 121 childcare places that are also built on the Franklin site.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, does the delivery of the Franklin and Bonner schools provide a model of how to deliver future school developments and what projects are being planned?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest. The building of schools, like all infrastructure, is a complicated and in-depth process. From the identification of need to the selection of sites, the construction involved many skilled people. The delivery of these two schools shows the expertise of the Education and Training Directorate in the planning and delivery of the school infrastructure to meet the needs of Canberra’s growing population. Already, planning has begun for the new school in Coombs and design work is underway. Work is also well advanced on the redevelopment of Taylor Primary School in Kambah.

Ultimately, the design and construction of schools is a combination of a set of factors—assessing the preferred delivery model, the size of the school, the school type and the project time, including the demographic projections of enrolment numbers

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