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31 July, 2020

Parents Victoria is very concerned by the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the community and in our schools in particular. Although a small percentage of schools overall have had to be closed due to positive cases, the number compared with last lockdown have increased dramatically. Parents are understandably worried about the physical health of their children, where they are required to attend onsite. This is added to their concerns about their children’s mental wellbeing, impacted for some because they have to be at school, and others because they are required to Learn from Home (LFH) again.   There is no one answer which will suit everyone.

At this time, Parents Victoria calls on the State Government to review its decision to keep senior students learning onsite. We believe more flexibility must be provided to school principals to put arrangements in place to suit their local communities. These should include lessons and resources being available online again for senior students, who could then LFH if that were their preference, or could participate in remote learning onsite at their school, or in a nominated school within a local cluster. The cluster model could operate for all students who cannot LFH (medically vulnerable families, essential worker parents, etc.). The majority of teachers and staff should also be authorised to work from home. These options should be available to all students attending specialist schools, too.

We would suggest a decision is made for at least the remainder of Term 3, and that any such decision remains in place for the indicated period. Constantly changing decisions lead to more anxiety for families. A decision relating to Term 4 should be made as early as is practical. Communication to families from the Government/DET and schools must be timely, factual, and not contradictory.

Most critical is the health and wellbeing of students, their families, and all staff in our schools.

All enquiries regarding this release should be directed to Gail McHardy, Executive Officer: 0413 589 627 or via email.


 

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