Opportunity for our Children

Providing every young South Australian with a good education is the most powerful way we can give everyone the opportunity for the best possible start in life. We are ensuring students have the best possible environment in which to learn through investing more than $1.7 billion in school infrastructure improvements since 2002.

Primary school counsellors

Expand the current provision of counsellors in category 1 to 5 primary schools to also include category 6 and 7 primary schools.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 77


Completed. The expansion of the primary school counsellor resource to include category 6 and 7 schools has occurred.

Strong Start

Expand the programs that assist new and soon-to-be mums on health, education and social needs, into the southern suburbs – from Marion to Noarlunga.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


Officially launched on 30 April 2015, the service links mothers experiencing additional challenges during the antenatal period with qualified clinicians to provide practical and emotional support. Mothers also receive advice about creating a safe and nurturing environment.

Sports voucher

Commit $7.74 million in funding to ensure all primary school-age children will receive an annual voucher for $50 towards their sports club fees. Vouchers for children from Reception to Year 7 can be redeemed by incorporated clubs through the Office of Recreation and Sport.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P74


Funding of $7.74 million over four years has been committed with more than 83,000 vouchers redeemed to date.

Autism specific schooling

Offer the former Ashford Special School site to the Treetop Autism Specific School for a peppercorn rent to allow a new Reception to Year 12 autism-specific school to open in 2015.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 77


Completed. Site has been leased to Autism Spectrum Australia at a peppercorn rental. The first day of school for students was 25 July 2016.

Regional higher education summit

Hold an annual Regional Summit, in conjunction with South Australia’s universities to gain independent expert advice on regional policy.
Source: Agreement with the Member for Frome


This has been implemented and is ongoing. The 2015 Regional Summit was held in Whyalla. The 2016 Regional Summit was held in Mount Gambier. The 2017 Regional Summit is being held in Clare.

Kitchen Garden funding

A further $1.6 million will be provided to the Botanic Gardens to extend their current Kitchen Garden initiative to include a pre-school visiting program.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 74


The kitchen garden provides a showcase to both the children and their families and carers the benefits of growing and eating fresh, healthy produce.   www.kitchengardenssa.com.au/index.php/early-years-visiting-program

Kitchen Garden participation

Double the number of schools participating in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Gardens program to 82 by early 2015.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 113


More children are able to benefit from The Kitchen Garden educational program. Children experience hands-on learning about the environment and healthy eating habits that they can take beyond the classroom into later life.

Children and gambling

An online Watch List of popular apps and online games that contain gambling simulation will be created to inform parents about games of concern.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 79


Completed. The Watch list is available at childrenandmedia.org.au/app-reviews/watchlist

Professional standards in schools

We will give our school principals the authority to enforce the highest professional standards in our classrooms.
Source: Governor's speech to Parliament, February 2016


Principals continue to be supported in the ongoing management of unsatisfactory performance together with the development of guidelines and a range of resources.

Support in our schools

To better support our schools, the staff the Government employs to provide support will be relocated from central office to work more closely with school leaders at the local level.
Source: Governor's speech to Parliament, February 2016


Staff began relocating from central office in 2016. To date 105 staff have relocated to the Education Development Centre from central office, with a further group of approximately 16–18 staff expected to relocate in March/April 2017.


Double funding for the Way2Go safe bike riding program to teach more than 8,000 primary school students in 90 schools about cycling as a safer, greener and more active form of travel. As part of the program’s expansion, curriculum materials for teachers will be updated and made available online for all schools.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


The Way2Go program partners with 198 primary schools across South Australia to encourage more students to be safe while walking, cycling, scooting or skating to school.

39 Local Councils are activeWay2Go partners working in partnership with their local schools and the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure.

In 2017 more than 7,300 students will participate in Way2Go Bike Ed.

For more information about the Way2Go program visit www.dpti.sa.gov.au/Way2Go

New City High School

Advance the vision for the New City High School for 1,000 students, to open in 2019. Expanding the zone for the CBD and selected inner suburbs will occur in two stages.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 75


Early works (site preparation and services relocations) commenced in December 2016. Major works are now underway. The new CBD school will be named the Adelaide Botanic High School and will have a single shared zone with Adelaide High School when it opens in Term 1, 2019.



Establish a fund to build new playgrounds and upgrade existing playgrounds, complementing the NaturePlay SA initiative.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 74


The Government has committed to providing $16 million over four years towards local reserve and playground projects. Grants totalling $4 million were allocated to 20 projects in 2014-15. Grants totalling $6.8 million were allocated to 5 projects in 2015-16. This included $779,000 for the Hanson Reserve Upgrade at Woodville Gardens and $745,000 for the Modbury Precinct Civic Park Redevelopment.

School capital works

Invest $309 million in capital works for our schools, including more than 60 major upgrades by 2018.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


Of the 64 capital works projects for our schools, 57 are now completed. The commitment of investing $309 million has been exceeded and the department is on track to deliver on 60 major upgrades by 2018.

Children's Centres

Expand our network of Children’s Centres and provide more services in existing Centres.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


Additional funding was allocated for five Centres in the 2015-16 State Budget, located at Seaton, Pennington, Renown Park, Mount Barker and Roxby Downs. Construction and refurbishment of Seaton Children’s Centre was completed on 14 October 2016. The development of the remaining centres is on track.

Commissioner for Children and Young People

To advocate for the rights of children and young people around South Australia.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


The State Government has appointed Helen Connolly as South Australia's first Commissioner for Children and Young People. The appointment of a Commissioner for Children and Young People was a recommendation in Royal Commissioner Nyland's report.

School specialisation

Offer grants of $50,000 to encourage more public schools to specialise in an academic field, languages or arts. Promote more widely those schools which currently offer specialisations.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 3, 77


A total of 60 grants will be issued over four financial years from 2014-15 to 2017-18.

Masters degrees

From 2020, we will require all new teachers to hold a Masters level qualification.
Source: Governor's speech to Parliament, February 2015


Revised policy approved in August 2016.

Early childhood development

The Government will continue to invest in early childhood development because it believes that this is the single most important way we can alleviate poverty and disadvantage, particularly for Aboriginal people.
Source: Governor's speech to Parliament, February 2016


Significant ongoing and new investment in a range of early childhood services and programs is being delivered. This includes smaller educator to child ratios for public preschools, five additional Children's Centres and construction of preschool outdoor learning areas.

Outdoor learning areas

$6 million over four years, building 20 new outdoor learning areas in pre-schools across the State. Initially, 10 pre-schools from across the State will be chosen as demonstration sites. These sites will be concept leaders and will need to commit to ensuring the space is also open to families in their local community.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia P 74 and Media Release, 1 March 2014.


The first of the five demonstration sites were officially opened in September/ October 2015 and are located at Sturt Street Children’s Centre, Wandana Child Parent Centre, Campbelltown Preschool, Madge Sexton Kindergarten (McLaren Vale) and Malaleuca Park Kindergarten (Mount Gambier).

The second five demonstration sites were opened in November/ December 2016 and were located at Adelaide Miethke Kindergarten, Hackney Kindergarten, Flinders Kindergarten (Port Augusta), Solomontown Kindergarten (Port Pirie) and Brentwood Drive Kindergarten (Huntfield Heights).

A further 10 sites, for future development have been approved and announced.

Voluntary school amalgamations

The Department for Education and Child Development will consult with school communities to explore opportunities to further amalgamate facilities.
Source: Governor's speech to Parliament, February 2015 and Let's Keep Building South Australia P 75


The Department has received more than 20 Expressions of interest for the Voluntary Amalgamations Program. These are being assessed and schools advised if they can proceed under this program.

Children's Centre - Roxby Downs

Investigate building a Children's Centre in Roxby Downs, provide Masters scholarships to entice the very best teachers to the area and establish a specialisation program at the Roxby Downs Area School. Provide access to a $50,000 grant to develop a specialisation program that reflects the community’s aspirations.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 155 and Media Release, 4 March 2014


The 2015-16 State Budget included an allocation of $500,000 to establish a Children’s Centre in Roxby Downs. On 22 November 2016,  the Premier announced that the State Government and BHP Billiton have agreed to each invest $2 million to deliver the Children’s Centre.

Master's scholarship

From 2015 to 2020, ensure that 240 scholarships to obtain a Master's degree are available for existing teachers.
Source: Building a Stronger South Australia, P 3


62 scholarships offered in Rounds One (2014) and Two (2015). A record number of applications were received for Round Three with 51 scholarships offered.

Defence High School

Provide additional funding for The Heights School to create a special Defence Industries program for its students, bringing together those students with our state’s defence industry companies.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71, 25 and Media Release, 3 March 2014


Ongoing funding provided to The Heights School and course counselling for 2017 (first year the defence program will be run) will be contained in the course handbook as well as letters sent home to specific students.

Advanced Manufacturing School

Deliver a $2.3 million Centre for Advanced Manufacturing at the Seaview High School to prepare students for jobs in new industries at the Tonsley redevelopment, to be operational for the start of the 2016 school year.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71 and Media Release, 24 February 2014


Partnership arrangements with Tonsley have been established, including TAFESA, Flinders University and industry groups co-located at Tonsley, with an anticipated completion in early 2017. Tenders were called and appraisal completed in April 2016 with a construction contract awarded in June 2016. Construction work commenced on 15 June 2016. Building works progressing as scheduled.

Teacher renewal program

Provide the opportunity for 100 late career teachers to nominate for an incentive payment to retire. All subsequent vacancies would be advertised and filled by early career or graduate teachers.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 78


An agreed way forward for a second teacher renewal program has been approved.

Leadership qualifications

From 2015 to 2020, 120 current and aspiring school principals should be supported to achieve advanced leadership qualifications. Ensure that appointments to leadership positions from 2014 preference people with these qualifications.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 78


As at April 2017, 214 leaders have been or are being supported to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Strategic Leadership.

New Magill education precinct

Undertake a feasibility study to build a new birth to year 12 school at the University of South Australia's Magill Campus, bringing together school, early childhood services and special education, including an intervention unit for students with autism. A centre of excellence would incorporate teacher training.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia P 75 and Let's Keep Building South Australia P 71


The Department for Education and Child Development, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the University of SA collaborated on a jointly funded feasibility study. The feasibility study has now been completed and is under consideration.

Advance Schools as community hubs

Helping communities access schools facilities for sporting, adult education and other purposes when they are not being used by schools.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 75


Three focus sites have been announced, Wirreanda High School - Southern Thriving Communities, Peterborough High School - Rural Thriving Communities and Northern Adelaide Senior College - Northern Thriving Communities.

Reading to children

The family of every toddler and pre-schooler in South Australia will receive free reading packs and parenting guides as part of The Little Big Book Club initiative. $350,000 each year over three years for three programs that will encourage reading at home. About 40,000 families each year will benefit.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 73


Toddler and preschool reading packs have been distributed, a training program implemented, and children under five in out-of-home care are now eligible for a personal library as part of the Read to Me program which was launched in September 2015. Information and guides have also been developed.

Investing in preschools

Invest $32.7 million to upgrade and build new preschools by 2018.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


Currently 15 sites have been identified for upgrade or relocation, with 14 sites now completed. The remaining site will be completed by the end of June 2017.

Parent Portal

Create an online school community through a new parent portal. Parents will be able to check items such as attendance, achievement and lesson plans with the click of a button.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 71


The Parent Portal is part of the Education Management System (EMS) and was released to the market for expressions of interest in April 2016. A number of vendors have been shortlisted to take part in the Request for Tender which is due for release in Quarter 2, 2017. It is anticipated that implementation of the Parent Portal will commence in early 2018. 

Better Schools Initiative

Work to guarantee full six-year State funding. Negotiate productively with the Commonwealth Government around funding and schools policy.
Source: Let's Keep Building South Australia, P 70


No Federal Government Support.

The State Government is delivering on the full six years of State funding under the National Education Reform Agreement (NERA), more commonly known as the Gonski Agreement. This includes $229.9 million in additional funding for all schools over six years. The 2015 Australian Government Budget confirmed cuts to years five and six of the NERA. The State Government continues to advocate for the Federal Government to reinstate the $335 million cut from the signed NERA.

Page last updated April 2017. Please read the disclaimer.