NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes shares priorities
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NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes shares priorities

Boys answer questions

New South Wales’ new Education Minister Rob Stokes has laid out his priorities for education in the state.

Mr Stokes told The Educator increasing schools’ capacity to accomodate students would be a priority, as the state’s population is expected to grow by 28 per cent over the next 20 years, with an additional 164,000 public school students in NSW by 2031.

“We need to increase our schools’ capacity to accommodate all those students. That will require new schools, as well as upgrades to increase the capacity of existing ones, and being smart and imaginative in our development solutions,” Mr Stokes said.

“Though a challenge, having more children in our state is a great thing – and providing greater school capacity is a top priority for me.”

Mr Stokes said he will be pushing for the Federal Government to deliver on $5 billion worth of new funding for NSW schools during ongoing negotiations between the federal, state and territory leaders.

“We have a signed agreement with the Commonwealth Government on the Gonski reforms, in which NSW schools stand to gain $5bn in new funding,” he said.

“The NSW Government led the nation in signing and implementing these reforms, and I will continue to do everything possible to ensure this commitment is met by the Federal Government.”

Mr Stokes thanked his predecessor, Adrian Piccoli, who he said did an “outstanding job” as Education Minister.

“It is my intention to build on his achievements, including reforms to improve student results, foster quality teaching and provide greater support to students and teachers,” he said.

“We also have a vast demographic challenge ahead of us in terms of the number of school-aged children in NSW.”

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