The education crisis in NSW under the Berejiklian Government deepens with the revelation that the number of demountable classrooms in NSW public schools has risen to 4,665, according to figures obtained by the NSW Opposition under Freedom of Information laws. 

Under the Liberal Government, usage of what were designed to be temporary structures in our school yards has actually gone up. 

In 2015 Labor revealed there were 3,990 demountables; today the figure has climbed to 4,665 – meaning about 100,000 of our school children are taught in them daily.

There are 780,000 students enrolled in 2,211 public schools across the state.

It is just yet more evidence of the wilful neglect of the state’s education system under the Liberals, with overcrowding in schools at crisis levels and the school maintenance backlog sitting at $775 million. The Liberals’ failure to plan for the expected 160,000 additional students in the next 15 years has ushered in the overcrowding crisis gripping NSW schools.

Labor’s Freedom of Information haul also shows that 1,462 of demountables – or more than a third of the total number – have been in place for a decade or longer, belying the Government’s claim that they are there temporarily.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said a Labor Government led by him in 2019 is committed to immediately auditing Government-owned unused or under-used land to identify potential sites for schools and school expansions as well as providing affordable pre-school care for every NSW child, fixing the maintenance backlog, ensuring every primary school child is taught a second language and ensuring every new school has pre and after school care facilities on site.

The figures also reveal which schools have the highest number of demountable classrooms on site, robbing valuable green space from students.

  • Cherrybrook Technology High School                             33
  • Matthew Pearce Public School, Baulkham Hills               28
  • Carlingford Public School                                               28
  • Girraween Public School                                                28 

Quotes Attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Our message to Ms Berejiklian is clear – get the kids out of the demountables, and give them a clear shot at a decent education and a better life.

“The whole Liberal philosophy is to ignore education and pay lip service to it – they just don’t get it. They see education costs as a liability, and not an investment in an asset - the next generation of Australians.”

Quotes Attributable to Shadow Education Minister Jihad Dib 

“It’s staggering that students are sitting in over 1450 demountables that have been in the same place for over 10 years.

“Demountables are meant to be a temporary solution for growing communities but what we see here is a reliance on making cheap and ineffective demountables a permanent structure within schools. 

“What is meant to be a short term solution is simply becoming part of the furniture.”