27 February 2020 : Queensland government has announced "air conditioning in every classroom by June 2022"
.... read more in the QTU members' newsflash : Air conditioning - every classroom in every state school
What has been promised?
A $477 million project will deliver air-conditioning to every classroom, every library and every staffroom for every state school in Queensland.
Which schools are included?
All Queensland state schools, primary, secondary, P-10/P-12 and special, which are not already fully air-conditioned will be included in the program.
A list of all the schools to benefit from the new investment is available on the DoE website
What is the definition of a classroom?
Each school has a facilities master plan that designates the purpose of each space in the school.
Any space designated as a classroom on the school plan will be included in the air-conditioning program.
Some flexibility may be required because of local decisions around use of specific spaces.
Are practical areas included in the definition of classrooms?
Kitchens, laboratories and workshops are classrooms and will be included.
In the case of ITD workshops the Department have provided the following explanation for specific treatment of the cooling needs of these spaces:
“The Department is seeking to air condition all learning spaces.
A number of technical and workshop spaces in secondary schools may require different solutions.
The presence of dust and the use of heavy specialist equipment may require different cooling approaches to meet the safety requirements and optimise the use of these spaces.
For example, a number of workshop spaces (e.g. welding bays) are required to be open to the outside air for safety and ventilation purposes.
We will work with individual schools to identity the best local solutions”
What about teachers’ working spaces?
The commitment by the Palaszczuk government is to air-condition every staffroom in every state school.
What about other student spaces around the school?
The commitment by the Palaszczuk government includes air-conditioning every library in every state school by June 2022.
Other student spaces, such as halls, are not included at this time.
What about repairs and maintenance of the air-conditioning?
The program announced today includes new funding to maintain and replace (as required) all air-conditioning units in state schools. This relieves schools of this responsibility and cost.
What about existing air-conditioning fitted by community fundraising?
The announcement today includes a new provision for the maintenance and replacement of all existing air-conditioning units as required to keep them in a serviceable condition. Schools have previously had to budget for this where P&Cs and community fundraising have paid for the air-conditioning to be installed.
What about the environment?
The air-conditioning program is being completed at the same time as the Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) commenced two years ago. The new program announcement will expand the total number of solar panels from 110,000 to 190,000. The renewable energy generated is intended to sustainably offset the cost of running the air-conditioning in schools.
Isn’t this just an LNP policy that Labor have appropriated?
The QTU began a campaign for sustainable climate control in all state schools in 2017. Both the LNP and Labor policy positions came after the QTU campaign commenced. The announcement by the Labor State Government to deliver on the QTU ask is a welcome development and will ensure that students, teachers, school leaders and school support staff have better learning conditions and working conditions.
This is a big win for QTU members whoever delivers the outcome.