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Statement from Education MInister James Merlino, 12 July 2020

I know this is challenging news for everyone - students, teachers and families. Today we announced that, on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, students in Prep to Year 10 at schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will learn from home from Monday 20 July until at least 19 August.

As hard as this is, it is critical in combating the virus. This is all about reducing 700,000 students, as well as their parents and guardians, travelling across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

Onsite supervision will be available for students when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability.

One of things we learned last time was the difficulties in remote learning for students with a disability. That is why we have prioritised their return to learning onsite.

Recognising the need to minimise disruption to Year 11 and 12, these students in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will return to face-to-face learning from Monday 13 July, as will Year 10 students attending schools for VCE or VCAL classes.

We also understand that remote learning can be an even greater challenge for parents of kids with special needs so all government specialist schools will also resume face to face learning on Monday, 13 July.

All students in regional and rural Victoria, except the Mitchell Shire, will return to onsite learning as normal from Monday 13 July.

I know learning from home is difficult. I have three school-aged children myself. But our principals, teachers and school staff have already done, and will continue to do, an outstanding job delivering remote learning in this difficult time.

Trust your schools and trust your teachers. They know what they’re doing.

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