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The Department of Education and Training is updating its coronavirus advice frequently.

Check the latest on the DET website

Other useful information for parents

  • Health Information & Resources - DHHS website
  • Impact on VCE students  - VCAA website 
  • School Sports - School Sport Victoria website
  • Learning from Home - A learning portal is on the way.
    If you are self-isolating you can use the
    Fuse website.
  •  International Travel and School Excursions - Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has issued advice that overseas school excursions should cease, except to New Zealand and Canada.Based on this advice, any overseas school excursions should not proceed until further notice, except to New Zealand and Canada.

Why are most schools still open, when there are so many restrictions on gatherings in other places?

This article in today's Age goes through the arguments for and against, and explains why Australia's federal and state governments unanimously agree that schools should remain open for now. 


The Age reports today that some schools are running low on toilet paper, soap, hand sanitiser and cleaning products.

The Education Department has advised Parents Victoria that:

  • The Department is aware of the current challenges facing supply of personal hygiene products like toilet paper, soap and hand sanitiser.
  • Schools should continue to try and source cleaning products through their usual channels.
  • Schools have already been advised that if they cannot source products in this way, they should contact the Department and they will be supplied directly.
  • The Department is providing its first delivery of additional hand sanitiser to schools tomorrow, with further deliveries to follow.
  • The Department has already secured a further 10,000 units of hand sanitiser which will be arriving Friday for distribution.

Parents Victoria has the capacity to work remotely and will not be attending face to face meetings in the foreseeable future. We are managing a high volume of emails and contacts currently, so your patience with longer than usual response times would be appreciated.


The Age contacted Parents Victoria for comment on the impact of coronavirus in schools.

PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy's comments were published in the Age article on 13 March.

Gail said it was sensible to keep schools open for now. She said:

“If it’s inevitable that school is going to be disrupted at some stage, they will call it when the public health officers call it,” 

Read the full article on the Age website


Minister for Education James Merlino said today (13 March):

“If a school is closed, I want to assure all parents, teachers will be working remotely and available and in contact with their students to minimise the disruption to learning as much as possible,” Mr Merlino said. "Online and offline delivery options will be available and can be tailored to individual schools, and to different age groups of students.”

 

A recent ABC News article focuses on school fundraising. Parent Club members will be very familiar with the expectation that they raise funds for the school. But as the article points out, "...when volunteers often feel compelled to continue because they are fundraising for basics, not luxuries, it presents a new problem: school fundraising fatigue."

Parents Victoria believes schools need to be fully funded by governments to meet the educational needs of every student, without the need for parents (or teachers) to fundraise.  Parent Clubs should be free to engage in governance & engagement activities and creating genuine partnerships, not propping up the school budget. School social events are great, and they might raise money, but any proceeds should be for extras, not basics. 

Read the full article on the ABC website.

 

As usual, Mandy the Fundraising Whisperer has some great ideas in her monthly newsletter. 

In the March 2020 issue, you'll find

  • Mega Sausage Sizzle Guide (free download)
  • Signup Zone - free rostering tool
  • Fundraising suppliers - ask them for their info pack!
  • Top 5 articles and resources for the month
  • Monthly giveaway

You can see the newsletter on Mandy's website

 

The Education Department has comprehensive information on its website for families affected by the recent bushfires.

For parents and carers

The parents and carers page has information on:

  • Parent hotline
  • School and kinder closures
  • School buses
  • Help with school costs
  • Supporting your child
  • Donations to affected schools
  • And more...

Go to the parents and carers page

For schools

The schools page has extensive information for bushfire-affected schools. 

Of particular interest to parents will be the section about "Funding to Help Schools and Families".
It includes information on support that's available to help get kids back to school after the bushfires. The section lists the 15 Local Government Areas where support is available through State Schools' Relief. 

 

Commbank has launched a program of Bushfire Recovery Grants to help support local communities and replace facilities lost in the fires.  

Any school or Parent Club in a bushfire-affected area is eligible to apply.

Commbank is especially keen for schools to apply, as they know that a lot of the damage caused by fires has been to items which the community has spent significant time fundraising and building.

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