When weather heats up students to swelter without airconditioning

SUMMER COOLING: Orange Public School has 665 students but not one permenant classroom has an airconditioner according to figures from the Department of Education. Due to the town's mean summer temperatures students might have to make do with what they've got. FILE PHOTO
SUMMER COOLING: Orange Public School has 665 students but not one permenant classroom has an airconditioner according to figures from the Department of Education. Due to the town's mean summer temperatures students might have to make do with what they've got. FILE PHOTO

Cool average summer temperatures mean when the weather does warm up, fewer public school students in Orange will be able to beat the heat in airconditioned classrooms compared to students in surrounding towns. 

Education Department figures obtained by the NSW oposition reveal there are no schools in Orange with more than eight airconditioners in their permenant classrooms.

The study did not take into account airconditioning in demountables.

According to the figures, there are about 150 schools in NSW that still don’t have airconditioning in their permanent classrooms, including two Orange Schools, Orange Public School, which has 665 students, and Bowen Public School, which has 236 students. 

Both Orange High School and Glenroi Heights Public School had one airconditioned classroom each. 

Anson Street School had the most airconditioners with eight in its permenant classrooms, Calare Public School had six, Orange East Public School had six and Canobolas Rural Technology High School had four.

Comparatively, Molong Public School and Wellington Public School both had 24 airconditioned classrooms while Wellington High School had 26 and Dubbo College Senior Campus had 64 airconditioned classrooms.

In the June budget, the government announced it would spend $500 million on putting airconditioning into up to 1000 schools across NSW. Labor added that money to the $300 million it had already earmarked, and has now pledged $800 million.

A NSW Department of Education spokesman said all schools that experienced a long-term mean January maximum of 30 degrees and above would receive airconditioning in their permanent classrooms and libraries.

However, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, Orange has a mean January temperature of 27.2 degrees and a February mean of 26 degrees.

The spokesman said schools below the 30 degree mean could apply for funding and the assessment would look at a classroom's humidity, existing infrastructure and design. 

The program would be delivered by School Infrastructure NSW over five years.

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