South Australia's "Super Schools"

Published: Friday 2 September 2011

In 2008 the Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) in conjunction with Treasury, entered into negotiations and then a competitive bidding process for six schools to be built under the Public Private Partnership process. The last, largest and most complex of these schools opened on 27 July 2011.
Roma Mitchell Secondary College comprises three state-of-the-art "schools within a school” on a 15 hectare site campus. The site has panoramic views and is located near Sports Park to provide a special focus on elite sports including cycling, hockey and soccer and facilitate access the existing cycling velodrome and hockey fields.

It includes a co-educational campus for Years 8 to 12 for 800 students, a girls education campus for Years 8 to 12 for 400 students and a special education campus for Years 8 to 12 for 100 students - with a total capacity for 1300 students. 

The modern facilities including integrated wireless technology (Wi-Fi) across the campus, a university-style library, two commercial kitchens for TAFE accredited hospitality training, a performing arts centre, 10 outdoors courts, four soccer pitches, a full-size oval and two indoor basketball courts. It incudes wheelchair access for the students who are in the mainstream program and for those in the special needs centre. 

The school was designed to allow for the girls campus and the and co-ed campus to operate independently but with some key facilities to be available for joint use such as the library, performing arts and some specialist studios and workshops.

Each campus is designed to accommodate flexible learning by providing adaptable spaces for learning with a learning street and operable walls. The general learning areas include flexible modern furniture and ICT is an integral part of the program. Year 8, 9 and 12 students each have access to laptops on a one-to-one ratio and expected Year 10s and 11s would have the same level of access by the end of next year. The computers can be linked to the interactive white boards which have been installed. There is also a greater range of subject choices. For example, the languages program offers German, French and Japanese and the option of Arabic and Persian as out of hours activities.

The staff and students have responded positively to their new campus with the students describing it as "exciting, different and interesting”.
Environmentally sustainable development (ESD) initiatives include solar power panels, extensive natural light, natural ventilation, and rainwater storage and re-use. The buildings were designed to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating.

The Roma Mitchell Secondary College campus the last of six DECS schools planned and provided under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) process. 


Principal – Ms Sandy Richardson 
Client – Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) South Australia
Consortia liaison - DECS Education Works team for overview from briefing to liaising with the consortia.
PPP consortia - Pinnacle Education
Design architects – Thomson Rossi Architects, South Australia 
Builder - Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd
Facility Management – Spotless Pty Ltd
Project Risk Management - DTEI Building Management

For further details and a video tour go to