100 Schools Needed Within 10 Years

The number of Queensland’s school-aged children is expected to continue to increase strongly over the next ten years to 2022.

Based on 2011 ABS Census data, the latest official projections by the Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Queensland Treasury and Trade, indicate that the population of school-aged children could be as high as 1 million by 2022. The more likely ‘medium series’ projection is 933,000 - an increase of more than 146,000 over the next ten years from 2012.

Even after allowing for 30% of these additional students finding space in existing schools, Queensland would still need to provide the equivalent of more than 100 new schools over the next decade, or the equivalent of some 10 new schools each year - across all school sectors.

Based on the current cost of building schools in Queensland, the cost of this additional school infrastructure is estimated to be in the order of $3.26 billion over ten years, or $326 million every year (in 2012 dollar terms).

The independent school sector has been and remains very concerned about the adequate and timely provision of this additional school infrastructure. New schools take years to plan and construct before accepting student enrolments. Costs for the purchase of suitable sites and the construction of buildings are prohibitively high. Government planning policies, processes and regulations treat not-for-profit school providers like private enterprise developers.

These concerns are shared by the Queensland Catholic school sector (see “Meeting the schooling needs of Queensland’s growing population - Discussion paper” compiled by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, December 2011).

To avoid a potential crisis of under-provision, strong government action is required to reduce red tape impeding timely school infrastructure approvals and to find innovative ways to finance the massive cost of this critically important community infrastructure.

ISQ Position

Information and resources on school infrastructure produced by Independent Schools Queensland.

Interview:                         Interview by Steve Austin of the 612 ABC Brisbane Mornings Program
                                        with David Robertson, ISQ Executive Director
Media Release:               Experts Consider How to Deliver 100 New Schools for Queensland - Novemeber 2012
Briefing:                           Issues in School Infrastructure Provision - June 2010 
Communique:                  State Government - May 2010
Media Release:               Independent Schools Demand a Fair Playing Field for New Developments - April 2010
Discussion Paper:           Independent Schools and Infrastructure in Queensland: A Plea for Fairness - April 2010
State Election Update:    Cut to Planning Red Tape Needed - March 2012

Our 'Think Tanks’ enable school leaders to contribute develop sector-wide positions on key policy areas. ISQ Members can visit our Think Tank on School Infrastructure Planning and Provision - April 2012

Government Position

Queensland government documents on school infrastructure.

Interview:                            Interview by Steve Austin of the 612 ABC Brisbane Mornings Program with
                                           The Hon. John-Paul Langbroek MP, Minister for Education, Training and Employment
Media release:                   Queensland Schools’ Planning Commission Given Green Light - June 2012
Action Plan:                        Queensland Government’s First 100 Day Action Plan - April 2012 
Ministerial Deliverables:     Minister Chrisafulli, Minister for Local Government - April 2012
Ministerial Deliverables:     Minister Langbroek, Minister for Education - April 2012
Ministerial Deliverables:     Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning - April 2012

Other resources

QCEC discussion paper: Meeting the schooling needs of Queensland's growing population - December 2011 
Tink Tank Presentations Notes Download