Building the Education Revolution

Parliament house flag post

Building the Education Revolution

Posted 6/08/2010 by Marilyn Harrington

The Building the Education Revolution (BER) Implementation Taskforce today released its interim report, finding that while quality infrastructure has been delivered within the required timeframes, project costs in some areas have been substantially higher than would have been the case before the BER.

The Taskforce was set up to examine complaints about BER projects and whether the projects are delivering 'value for money'. Its main focus has been the Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21) element of the BER.

The Taskforce found that many of the reported problems have to do with the BER's aim to provide quick economic stimulus as part of the Labor Government’s strategy to counter the effects of the global economic crisis. As the BER guidelines state, the BER projects had to be commenced as quickly as possible to support job creation. The use of design templates was encouraged to assist this process.

The Taskforce received complaints from 254 schools – about 2.7 per cent of all participating schools. NSW government schools accounted for 56 per cent of these complaints and 20 per cent were from Victorian government schools. According to the report, most of these complaints raised ‘very valid concerns, particularly about value for money and the approach to school level involvements in decision making’.

While the Taskforce has found that P21 is delivering quality infrastructure within the required timeframes, for 22 education authorities project costs have been substantially higher than would have been incurred pre-BER. The Taskforce therefore recommends that where funding for BER projects has not yet been committed, the projects should be delivered according to pre-BER capital works programs, including more involvement in decision-making by schools.

This report is the latest from a number of government inquiries (federal and state) about the implementation of the BER, including the Australian National Audit Office and a Senate committee. There are also parliamentary inquiries occurring in NSW and Victoria, and audits have been conducted for the Queensland education department.

In the Prime Minister's response to the report, she welcomed the Taskforce's scrutiny, admitted that lessons have been learnt from the BER's implementation and announced that if re-elected her Government will implement all of the report's recommendations. She also justified the BER's implementation as a matter of economic urgency: '... we made a judgment to invest in schools and to avoid recession ... I stand by that judgement and I would make it again today.'

The Coalition has promised that if elected it will redirect unspent BER funds to schools, and enable schools to directly manage the building projects and decide what infrastructure they need.


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

Refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment indigenous Australians Sport illicit drugs people trafficking taxation Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force higher education welfare policy United Nations health financing gambling Asia Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget school education forced labour aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA income management Industrial Relations emissions trading dental health Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police people smuggling poker machines National Disability Insurance Scheme Australian Crime Commission 43rd Parliament slavery election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service constitution International Women's Day corruption Afghanistan Fair Work Act child protection Aviation debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure ALP New Zealand Newstart Parenting Payment political parties Census politics High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Higher Education Loan Program HECS governance youth paid parental leave environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs Senate doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers Special Rapporteur leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform banking firearms public policy Population violence against women domestic violence mental health China ADRV terrorism science research and development social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation accountability public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing by-election European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas family assistance planning Senators and Members United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs health reform Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing health system money laundering early childhood education Canada Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity transparency Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation expertise climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration Australia Greens federal election 2010 servitude Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship human rights emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency productivity human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying asylum seekers Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits ANZUS qantas

Show all
Show less
Back to top