The school is registered as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). It is managed by the board and by the school governing council.
Key school staff
We will be undertaking a careful search to secure high quality professional staff for our school. The school principal, vice principal, business manager and other faculty staff will focus on finding the best people with the right blend of experience and cultural sensitivity. Consultants will be engaged to write up suitable, effective job descriptions. The school will be hiring experienced self-starters who enjoy the challenge of developing something ‘from scratch’, to create their own heritage and legacy for future generations to benefit from and admire.
The school management team is familiar with the NSW education system and curriculum. We are hiring consultants and educators with experience in establishing new schools to help lay the foundation for balanced, developmental teaching and learning programs in accordance with the Australian curriculum. We are also liaising with entities of similar experience running other faith schools in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions. We are also learning from well-established Sikh faith schools in Canada, Europe and USA.
We strive to achieve exceedingly high, consistent academic results in a quality educational environment, inculcating the highest moral and spiritual values into the life of each student. Academically, we will strive to better the results currently secured by NSW selective schools.
A. Land and buildings
Total funding required for the project will depend on the related expenditure on fixed assets as well as be providing sufficient working capital for the first three years of operation. It is intended that this amount shall be raised through charitable donations, government grants, gifts, trusts, tuition fees, services and sales. The project is planned so that construction is completed in stages depending on the availability of funds. For example, the establishment of the primary campus is given priority. Similarly, the school hall will be made available for community use.
- Short-term or initiation (Y2023): The commencement phase. This phase will see the completion of the first school building, where primary school and some additional activities will begin. The cost of completion is approximately $10 million.
- Medium-term or propagation (Y2023/Y2024): Commencement of Kindergarten (KG) to Y6 classes, possibly in stages. The costs associated with starting the school and making use of the 10 acres of land for school facilities is an expected $2 million.
- Long-term (Y2024 onwards): Achievements in this stage will bear witness to the completion of the project and the establishment of all education levels and campuses. This could include a further four buildings on the site. An accurate timeline and budget will be provided closer to the appropriate time. The NSW and Commonwealth Governments provide funding each year to assist with the improvements of many schools. All efforts will be made to secure the maximum funding available from these grants. Further sources of incomes will be generously supplemented by our community in order to achieve quality outcomes.
Upon completion, this project will be valued at an estimated $150 million. Sikh Grammar School will be one of the premier educational, social and religious institutions in Australia, where families from local, interstate and international communities will feel proud to send their children. Our ultimate objective is to provide a superior school in which the quality of the young people attending and graduating is paramount – we believe the results will speak for themselves: a great school produces exceptional students.
A. Current financial position
- Land purchase, DA and associated costs: The land was purchased at a cost of about $4 million. Expenses related to the purchase of this land, exploring other land options, selling and DA efforts on the previous land, completion of DA on this land, expert and specialist reports, professional and technical advice, fundraising and promotional activities totaled approximately $2 million.
- The current value of our land: The current value of this 10-acre parcel of land has reportedly increased from $20 million to $24 million due to several factors, including land zoning changes, large-scale housing developments in nearby areas, and construction of a brand new metro railway in the area.
B. Generation of income
- The Australian Commonwealth or State Governments do not provide any funding to start non-government schools. These governments do provide yearly funding to run non-government schools once they are established. Therefore, our community is expected to raise enough funds to purchase land and build initial buildings for our school.
- School fees will remain as low as possible to encourage enrolments and provide members of the community with an opportunity to access quality education. We will maintain a good balance of fair fee costs while retaining our ability to engage high-quality educators and professionals to maintain high educational standards.
- The NSW State Government reimburses some/most costs incurred by schools on a per-student basis each year. The Sikh Grammar School should receive this funding.
- The Commonwealth Government provides lump-sum grants to private schools on a project-by-project basis. All efforts will be made to secure these funds for this project.
- Donations will be sought from the community, businesses and local, national and international charitable organisations, businesses and families.
- School facilities will be made available for hire to generate funds.
- The on-site Gurdwara will assist with attracting donations. Every dollar raised here will be invested for the betterment of our future generations with this school.
The school project began with a clear understanding that today we operate in a highly competitive environment – even when it comes to education. It is recognised that commitment to quality outcomes, responsiveness, strong alliances with industry, and the development of the professional skills, capabilities and services provided by our staff is paramount for the success of this venture. In the broader area where our proposed school will be situated, there are already viable education institutions. Therefore, we are keen to offer a superior alternative to our students and their families, thereby making it easier for them to make a clear choice and to enrol in our school.
The engagement, remuneration, and review of the engagement and remuneration of any salaried employee, contractor or Officer engaged and designated by whatever name will be determined by the institution. No volunteer, regardless of hours of work devoted to specific duties for the benefit of the institution or its associates will be entitled to payment for such work unless the engagement of the volunteer has been approved by the institution, at which point the person will cease to be a volunteer and become an employee or a contractor.
School Gurdwara Facility
In order to meet the Sikh ethos of the school and to meet the needs of the local Sikh community, a prayer facility will be located at the site, similar to the prayer halls and chapel facilities provided in various religion based schools across Australia. This facility will assist the student community to learn the Sikh way of life and its practices at the school premises. This facility will be available, out of school hours, as a meeting place for the local community and parents. As per Sikh religious traditions this facility will provide free food (langer) to the students and the community.
The school will provide electronic facilities to the students and the community to learn about the Sikh history and religion by providing modern interactive facilities that are very different to other Gurdwaras. These facilities will be a world first and we prefer to call it “electronic Gurdwara Sahib”
School hostel facilities
We regularly receive communications from parents living interstate or overseas, who would like their children to be educated in the Sikh way of life in Australia. Some of them send their children to other boarding schools overseas. Many families live in rural and regional areas, while others live in countries where Sikh population is small and there is no Sikh school. These parents will prefer their children to be educated in Australia, as the standard of schooling is much better in Australia.
Collectively, Australian education institutions are estimated to generate $3 billion a year due to the high quality level of education provided in this country. Students who attend our school will undoubtedly be successful in gaining admission into university courses in Australia.
We receive enquiries from families in India who currently have children enrolled in tertiary studies in Australia, saying they would rather send their children to complete their schooling in Australia and stay in hostel facilities among other Sikhs. The middle class population in India is estimated at 300 million – therefore, there is no dearth of people who can afford this option. The Sikh Grammar School will establish high-class hostel facilities to meet this demand and generate precious foreign exchange income for NSW and the Australian economy.
The school will implement and abide by high ethical standards in public and private spheres. It will implement an equal opportunity policy. No discrimination will be allowed on the grounds of sex, marital status, age, color, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, caste or disability.
The Sikh Grammar School will provide direct and indirect employment to approximately 300 people before completion. Upon completion, it will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to about 200 people.
It has taken us this long to bring this project to fruition as we encountered some administrative, bureaucratic and legalistic challenges in getting our plans approved by the authorities. We are now past these issues and have managed to gather a thoroughly professional team of experts to take the project to the heights it deserves.
Our master plan is under preparation with PMDL, an architectural company with experience in designing and getting approved nearly one hundred schools in Australia. Our Town Planners are Willowtree Planning with similar experience. We have also hired a team of two educationists who were pioneers in starting new schools here and were founding Principles for many schools in Sydney. We have signed long-term contracts with them for setting up, designing, recruiting and running our school.
After the completion of the first building, other formalities of NESA (The NSW Education Standards Authority is the state government education board in New South Wales, Australia) must be completed before the school can start functioning. This will include recruitment of staff, finalising school policies, ensuring a safe environment for the children, etc. Thereby, enabling the NSW Minister of Education to sign off on the school. This will let the official beginning of the school from the following academic year.
Latest sporting facilities
Our teaching facilities will be complemented with extensive sporting facilities on our ten acres of land, and a fully equipped gymnasium. We will increase the sporting prowess of our students to such an extent that they are selected in the state and national sporting teams.
Technologically Advanced Facilities
This school will have high-tech learning spaces that will be the envy of the world. We will have state-of-the-art fully equipped modern classrooms with visual electronic boards. There will be flexible classrooms with movable walls to create 21st century learning spaces. Our students will have the latest electronic gadgets that can dock to a range of settings on the floor as well as access to high-speed WiFi so they can connect to internet from anywhere in the premises. New collaborative technologies will include touch screens to modify and share documents, a telepresence for high-definition video conferencing and purpose-built project and design space, as well as a sanctuary space with a focus on health and well being.
Admissions and Fees
Sikh Grammar School at this stage is expected to take enrolments in 2023. Expression of interests will be invited during 2019/2020 and complete information on how to enrol will be made available. We will also provide details of school fee. The school will keep the fee minimum and affordable. We will need to balance it in such a way that it does not compromise school’s ability to provide the highest possible level of facilities, education, sports facilities and Sikhi.