[COM] Super Schools | $216m

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#46 Post by urban » Sat May 09, 2009 10:48 am

raulduke wrote:who cares?

so nobody knows anything about the Superschools PPP itself

another empty promise from the rann government
The Superschools PPP is going ahead. The "winning" consortium will be signed up shortly and the first school delivered ready to open first term next year.

This is a virtually impossible timeframe but because of the value of the total job the consortium will make it happen.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#47 Post by monotonehell » Sat May 09, 2009 4:31 pm

urban wrote:...This is a virtually impossible timeframe but because of the value of the total job the consortium will make it happen.
I can see it now;
"We had an impossible timeframe, but we delivered on time. Now carefull when you enter this room. It is a room with electricity, but it has a bit too much. So you might want to wear a hat."
;)
(Plagiarised from the Simpsons.)

I'm still interested to find what number of students comprise a "super school". I haven't found any hard numbers in the press releases I've read.
Exit on the right in the direction of travel.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#48 Post by raulduke » Sun May 10, 2009 6:22 am

omnicron - thanks for the info, but i would suggest that building even a single R-12 school in 12 months would be almost impossible.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#49 Post by Omicron » Sun May 10, 2009 6:10 pm

raulduke wrote:omnicron - thanks for the info, but i would suggest that building even a single R-12 school in 12 months would be almost impossible.
...I didn't say anything! But your thanks are much appreciated.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#50 Post by rhino » Mon May 11, 2009 8:23 am

Prince George wrote:Primary schools have much more modest requirements for facilities than middle/high schools; to my mind, a school that couldn't manage to have a room for art and science would have to be absolutely tiny.
There are a few of these in the Adelaide Hills - admittedly not where the superschools are being built, I don't know what's currently out there.
Prince George wrote:The talk of technology in the schools has me confused too - I can see that 20 years ago there were advantages to rebuilding schools to accomodate networking for computers, but in the era of wireless and laptops what exactly do they need to build?
They need to supply the laptops, and would ideally have them in a room where kids can go and use them to do work in free time. This is how my kids' primary school works - they are not a rich school but are not doing too bad either.
Prince George wrote:And, really, how many of these super schools are going to have something as specific as a commercial teaching kitchen? I could imagine that there may be one such school in the entire city that would offer that, and that people would still have to travel cross-town to take advantage of it - basically the same situation as we have now with schools like Urbrae.
One of our local high schools has one. I did a tour through it last week and was very impressed. It offers Home-ecc classes in a home-kitchen style set-up (with 8 kitchens in the one "classroom"), commercial cooking in another section that is set up as a commercial kitchen, as well as front-of-house waiting and coffee-making classes which enable kids to get work in the hospitality industry, either when they've left school, or on weekends while in high school, with a bit of experience behind them. There are also tech rooms, a fantastic music program, a drama program and studio which also teaches backstage management (sound, lights, etc), a great gym. Compared to a small school that couldn't afford these things, there's very little comparison.

I can see that there are advantages to small schools too, especially social advantages, but as I said before, I have faith that the pros and cons were added up, and the best outcome chosen. As I also said before, the Naplan tests mean that if a government is not offering good public education, they will find it that much harder to be in government for the next term.
cheers,
Rhino

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#51 Post by Prince George » Tue May 12, 2009 12:09 am

So, rhino, it sounds like there's a high school near your area that provides terrific opportunities and facilities - since I presume it isn't a "super-school", doesn't that mean that these new schools don't have to be super-sized to provide this level of opportunity?
rhino wrote:I can see that there are advantages to small schools too, especially social advantages, but as I said before, I have faith that the pros and cons were added up, and the best outcome chosen. As I also said before, the Naplan tests mean that if a government is not offering good public education, they will find it that much harder to be in government for the next term.
And, since evidentally the decision has been made and the money will be spent, I can only hope that your faith is justified. But coincidentally there was this passage in an article about the public policy researcher Bent Flybjerg:
... while a lowly student intern at the planning authority for the Ribe County Council in Denmark. / That summer, the young Flyvbjerg explored the pros and cons of focusing development in the county’s urban centers versus concentrating on smaller towns. In one draft report, he described a British study showing that children performed better academically when they lived closer to the school — highlighting the value of decentralized school systems with facilities nearer to families’ homes. When the report returned from review by higher-ups, Flyvbjerg noticed the section on the school study was crossed out. A note in the margin read, “Cancel, may not apply in Denmark,” next to the initials of the county director of schools.

Flyvbjerg spotted a pattern in the rest of the director’s notations: He’d cut out all information that supported decentralizing schools. The administration had apparently arrived at a decision, and the Regional Planning Authority was not to interfere. “In reality,” Flyvbjerg later wrote of the episode, “power often ignores or designs knowledge at its convenience.”
Considering how little information seems to be available about this program, in spite of it being a serious amount of money being spent during an election lead-up, I can't help but feel rather suspicious. For instance, what I can find about it says that these six schools will replace 17-20 (the number seems to vary) primary, middle, and high schools in the areas that they are being built - what are they doing with those adandoned schools? Are they going to use them as a land bank, or are they going to follow the old Glengowrie High?

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#52 Post by raulduke » Sat May 23, 2009 4:03 pm

still no news on this, although the www.educationworks.sa.edu.au website seems to have dropped the PPP section off it - methinks that mr foley might be pushing this project back further in the budget - there is no way that the smithfield superschool is going to be finished in 2010 - it hasnt started

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#53 Post by Mants » Tue May 26, 2009 10:43 pm

all the renders are available on adelaidenow.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#54 Post by SRW » Tue May 26, 2009 11:49 pm

Mants wrote:all the renders are available on adelaidenow.
At the following link: http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/stor ... 01,00.html

Certainly nothing impressive from the overviews, maybe even a little bland. It seems they have passed over an opportunity to make inspiring architecture a part of the school ground, though it might be inside the buildings that there's something of worth. Perhaps I'm too hopeful.
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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#55 Post by Prince George » Wed May 27, 2009 2:35 am

Ok, so the premier is acting pleasantly surprised over some postercard models or something - has anyone anywhere found the actual plans themselves?

From the article:
Under the terms of the agreement, Pinnacle will be responsible for the physical maintenance of the schools for the next 30 years – at which point ownership will revert to the State Government.
I don't think that I understand how this works, what incentive does Pinnacle have to maintain these facilities properly if the ownership ultimately reverts to the state? This seems set for a confrontational relationship, although the other option (collusion) would be worse. Surely the better way is for the ultimate owners to maintain it, they have a natural interest in investing into them.
Dr Lomax-Smith said she expected the closed school sites would eventually be sold: "There's potential for reuse in useful ways and some of that may well be housing but that's for the future and those options will not be realised for another three or four years," she said.
I suppose that's not a surprise, but lors-a-mitty I hope that we can avoid just selling the spaces off to join the sea of houses. Again, I think of Glengowrie - what would it take to rebuild a school in that area if population dynamics change?

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#56 Post by raulduke » Wed May 27, 2009 6:57 am

Prince George:

Its a Public Private Partnership, probably a Build Operate Transfer arrangement where ownership of the schools themselves remains with the State but the operation and maintenance of the schools themselves is undertaken by the private sector in return for some form of consideration, not unlike the privately run prisons that were popular a couple of years ago. Typically the consortium agrees to a set of KPI's in this arrangement and part of their payment would by in some way linked to their operational performance.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#57 Post by Shuz » Wed May 27, 2009 11:32 am

Wow, schools which look like clones of each other! It's so sad to see economics put first before design.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#58 Post by steveadl » Wed May 27, 2009 11:48 am

Shuz wrote:Wow, schools which look like clones of each other! It's so sad to see economics put first before design.
ummm drive around the suburbs, all schools (public anyway) built at the same time look the same.

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#59 Post by Mants » Wed May 27, 2009 7:49 pm

i dont get it.
we have some rather grand public schools in adelaide...
marryatville high and brighton secondary, to name a few.
why must all these designs look like complete utilitarian detention centres?

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[COM] Re: $216m program to create six super schools

#60 Post by monotonehell » Wed May 27, 2009 8:54 pm

Mants wrote:i dont get it.
we have some rather grand public schools in adelaide...
marryatville high and brighton secondary, to name a few.
why must all these designs look like complete utilitarian detention centres?
Same reason they dress all the students in uniforms ;)

I think the designs look okay. There's nothing wrong with utilitarian design in the case of a school, as long as the facilities are functional and comfortable for those using them. These are also purported to be environmentally concious designs. They possibly look more interesting at the users' eye level.

What's more important is what the public schooling system does with these facilities. Currently it's seriously failing to teach even the basics, let alone any kind of ability to think logically, or analyse critically. The majority of first year uni students can hardly form sentences, and often can't tell the voracity of a reference. Two of the fundamental requirements for study at that level.

What we need to go along with these 'super schools' is a bottom up restructuring of the curriculum.
Exit on the right in the direction of travel.

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