ALMOST 40 Hunter and Central Coast public schools have been categorised as at high risk of bushfire, according to a Department of Education audit.
The audit of 712 NSW schools in bushfire affected areas categorises schools as either high, medium, low or very low risk, or not bushfire prone.
A department spokesman said the category is "based on NSW Rural Fire Services mappings and determined through a visual inspection of the vegetation cover of the surrounding areas of each site using aerial photography".
"The categorisation process has been developed specifically for department sites to broadly assign resources to the schools that needed the most works undertaken," he said.
"To be categorised as high risk, a site was to meet two criteria: a substantial area of unmanaged bushland within the school property, and be connected to an area of unmanaged bushland in a directly adjoining property.
"NSW school sites have had detailed bushfire risk assessments undertaken with more than 700 Bushfire Vegetation Maintenance Plans put in place for schools on bushfire prone land, guiding a comprehensive bushfire fuel reduction program across the state."
Hunter schools in the high risk category include Barnsley, Caves Beach, Charlestown South, Cooranbong, Dudley, Fennell Bay, Floraville, Garden Suburb, Hillsborough, Merewether Heights, Mount Hutton, Soldiers Point, Tanilba Bay, Valentine and Wirreanda public schools and Glendale High School.
Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison said it was important at-risk schools were prepared with the resources they needed.
"It's almost one year since our worst bushfire season and these works need to be done immediately," she said.
"The government needs to implement the recommendations from the Bushfire Inquiry."
IN THE NEWS: