Planning for school infrastructure

Schools in some areas, particularly Sydney’s Inner West and North Shore, are facing overcrowding. Across the State, the design of some schools and classrooms may not suit contemporary teaching practices. It is important for educational outcomes that these issues are addressed, and that schools and classrooms are located where required and are suited to modern teaching practice.

A strategic objective of the 2014 State Infrastructure Strategy Update is to ‘equip growing urban and regional populations with the modern schools and training infrastructure required to deliver educational service for a competitive, innovative economy’.

This audit will assess whether the Department of Education has a strategy and implementation model to ensure it has sufficient fit-for-purpose student learning spaces when and where needed. In making this assessment, the audit will examine whether the Department has:

  • identified the demand for future learning spaces
  • determined the infrastructure required to meet demand
  • developed an implementation model to provide learning spaces when and where needed and to do so economically
  • secured the funding needed to provide required learning spaces.

Use of ICT to improve teaching and learning

Rapid and continuing advances in ICT are changing the ways people share, use, develop and process information and technology. In this digital age, young people will use and interact with ICT in a range of learning, work and social contexts. Schools have responded to this by integrating modern and technology-enabled learning into school curricula. To ensure students benefit from new approaches, schools and teachers need to plan and use ICT resources effectively.

This audit will assess how well NSW schools are using ICT to improve teaching and learning. The audit will focus on:

  • the Department’s plans, policies and strategies for use of ICT in schools
  • support and training provided to teachers to integrate ICT into classroom practice
  • monitoring, reporting and evaluation of the impact of ICT on student learning.


Sharing school and community facilities

The NSW population is growing rapidly, particularly in Sydney. NSW and local governments are facing fiscal constraints together with increasing demand for services and calls on their funding. In such an environment, assets should be used optimally so that government investment is economical.

The State Government has several policies that support the shared use of facilities. For example, the State Infrastructure Strategy recommends greater community use of school facilities out of school hours and co-use of open spaces, and coordinated planning for schooling across public and private sector to avoid unnecessary duplication and under-utilisation of assets.

This audit will assess how effectively schools share facilities with each other, local councils and community groups. In making this assessment, the audit will examine whether the Department of Education:

  • has a clear policy to encourage and support facility sharing
  • is implementing evidence-based strategies and procedures for facility sharing
  • can show it is realising an increasing proportion of sharing opportunities.

Connected Communities program - effectiveness of cross-agency coordination



  • Implementation of local school management and funding arrangements
  • Home schooling
  • Teacher quality - implementation of Great Teachers, Inspired Learning
  • School counselling
  • Matching skills with market need