More public high school students are set to be taught in demountable classrooms as the State Government tries to shave $68 million off the Department of Education's capital works bill in the next four years.
The Budget papers outline the saving, which has been made by "removing projects that are not directly related to meeting the Year 7 accommodation requirements and reinstating the option of transportable buildings".
The savings were made as part of a review of the asset investment program in a bid to slow the rise of the State's debt.
Six demountable classrooms will be installed at Canning Vale College, four at Comet Bay College and eight at Geraldton's John Willcock College as part of $229 million in capital upgrades at 29 high schools.
But more high schools are likely to receive demountable classrooms as the department gets a better handle on growing student numbers closer to the 2015 Year 7 cohort's start date.
"The (Education) Department is monitoring enrolments at up to 30 schools which may require extra transportable classrooms or refurbishment of existing classrooms, but it is too early to have a confirmed list," the department's executive director infrastructure John Fischer said.
"Transportable classrooms these days are modern, air-conditioned and fitted as are any other classrooms. Transportable classrooms also allow public schools to cater for fluctuations in student enrolments quickly.
"The schools will still get the extra accommodation they require to cater for Year 7 students when they move to secondary school in 2015," Mr Fischer said.
The department's allocation for upgrading high schools for Year 7s was set at $265 million last year but fell to $230 million in last month's State Budget.
Mr Fischer said some of the savings had been achieved because tenders for new buildings were lower than expected.
Shadow education minister Sue Ellery claimed the budget had been slashed and many schools might not have the physical buildings to house Year 7 students by 2015.
'Transportable classrooms are air-conditioned and fitted as are any other classrooms.'"Infrastructure chief
- John Fischer *