Shedding light on new rules in NSW school development

Published: Wednesday 19 April 2017

As we attempt to provide future school facilities, within the context of population growth and decrease in available land, what are some of the rules and responses?

The first NSW Chapter event of 2017 was a seminar addressing these issues.

The NSW Government released a Draft Education and Child Care State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for public consultation.  This has major implications for schools particularly in relation to development without consent, exempt development and complying development certificates.

It is probably even more exciting for schools than when the Infrastructure SEPP came out. 

We were privileged to have Samantha Daly and Patrick Holland from McCullough Roberston Lawyers, to present the draft SEPP, what it means and how people could have their say.

With the growth in Western Sydney the approach to school planning and the shape of facilities is changing and the Government has responded with the design of the new Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta - a “high” rise school.

Arhtur Phillip High School high rise artist's impression






An artist's impression of the design for the new Athur Phillip High School. View the full series here.

Two of the key players in this design gave an overview from the educators and the designers perspectives.  Louise Browne (BVN/Grimshaw Architects) and Karen Bryant (NSW Department of Education) gave valuable insights into the reasons and responses.

The event was well oversubscribed and attendees provided strong and positive responses. Perhaps the loudest message of all was to rethink the possibilites of school planning as opposed to repeating the past.

Public consultation on the Draft Education and Child Care SEPP has now closed. The NSW Chapter made a submission on behalf of Learning Environments Australasia.

Our thanks to our presenters and also to The Association of Independent Schools NSW who hosted the event.

Peter Doddrell

NSW Chapter