In 2015, the State agreed on a $631 million contract with the EduWest consortium to design, build, finance and maintain 4 primary and 4 secondary schools under a Public Private Partnership (PPP). This was a new approach for schools in WA, using an asset driven, lifecycle cost approach to construction and maintenance, and setting the levels and costs of maintenance and facilities management until 2047.
The PPP project is intended to deliver a range of benefits including innovation in design and construction, lower whole of life costs and reducing the time school staff spend on buildings and maintenance. For the 8 schools within the PPP the role of the school staff and the Department of Education has to change from operational management to contract management and performance oversight.
How effectively the Department of Education and schools adapt will be a key driver in realising planned benefits, and delivering high quality teaching and learning environments for staff and students. Although it covers only 1% of schools, the PPP project is a significant financial commitment and will be part of the education landscape for the next 30 years. I will watch its progress with interest.