Some students across Australia will begin returning to school from today as coronavirus lockdown conditions ease as part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s three-stage plan.
“Step one will enable greater connection with friends and family… it will see children back in classrooms and in playgrounds in their communities,” Mr Morrison said on Friday.
YOU CAN READ OR DOWNLOAD THE GOVERNMENT’S THREE STEP PLAN BY CLICKING HERE
Stage 1 will see cafes and restaurants, playgrounds, libraries, community centres and bootcamps open. Universities, TAFE and technical colleges will increase face-to-face classes, with a focus on skills-based learning. Local and regional travel will be allowed, in addition to five visitors at home, 10 in business and public places
The National Cabinet, in agreement with Premiers and Chief Ministers, aims for the country to have moved through all three stages by July this year.
Each state and territory however is expected to have their own timelines where it comes to implementation. Details below.
New South Wales
School will resume today, Monday May 11, with students attending one day a week. Assemblies, excursions and inter-school sport, however, remain suspended.
Towards the end of Term 1, school attendance had dropped to six per cent, however last week that number had crept up to 17 per cent.
The government is reminding parents that their children should only be returning to school on their designated scheduled dates for the next few weeks.
Teachers will be trimming back the curriculum, with a focus on core subjects for the rest of Term 2.
Assessments will be undertaken earlier than usual.
By the end of April, New South Wales schools had received an estimated 55,000 essential supplies had been dispatched.
These included 20,000 rolls of toilet paper, 42,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, 22,000 bars of soap, 2000 litres of hand soap, 3900 bottles of surface spray and 16,000 packets of disinfectant wipes.
Hundreds of schools will be reopening from today, Monday May 11, with some 160,000 kids returning across the state.
However, only the youngest and eldest will be immediately returning: prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12.
Students in Years 2 to 10 are set to return in a fortnight.
Extra measures are in place at boarding schools like St Joseph’s Nudgee, where children are being allocated their own shower, basin and toilet to mitigate any risk.
Fourteen days of isolation are still being imposed on interstate travellers.
Social distancing expected to be enforced in playgrounds, tuckshops and classrooms, as well as when picking up and dropping off students.
READ MORE:How social distancing can halt the spread of coronavirus
An estimated 97 per cent of state school students are receiving classes online from home.
To increase physical distancing across the population and slow the spread of coronavirus, children in Victorian government schools moved to remote and flexible learning and care at the commencement of Term 2.
All students will be learning from home, except for children on days when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made.
Premier Daniel Andrews says a return to classrooms may be possible in Term 3.
The Department has provided information about resources for learning from home.
More than two-thirds of public school students returned to school two weeks ago with the beginning of Term 2, after health authorities confirmed conditions were now safe.
These figures mark a rise, with nearly a third of students previously attending school for face-to-face classes.
Weeks prior, the Chief Public Health Officer ruled that schools, preschools and early childhood services, including school hours care, should remain open.
The public were advised that if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at a schooling facility, the individual school or preschool would close temporarily, and that the state will provide information on any school or preschool closures.
An estimated 60 per cent of public school students attended school at the beginning of Term 2 two weeks ago.
While returning is a decision the government is ultimately leaving to parents, Year 11 and 12 students were urged to resume face-to-face studies.
From March 26, families in Western Australia were encouraged to keep children at home, so long as they could access the online or other resources for their education to continue.
All schools remain open, however institutions have been advised to ensure strict hygiene measures are in place.
Unless a school contacts parents directly with alternative arrangements, children in the Northern Territory are expected to physically attend school. Exceptions can be made for parents who have informed the school their child will be learning from home.
Term 2 runs from Monday April 20 to Friday June 26.
About 20 per cent of students are continuing to attend classrooms, about the same rate as at the beginning of Term 2.
Premier Peter Gutwein is continuing to advise parents to keep their children at home where possible, with Tasmanian school sites to remain open for those students who cannot be supervised and supported to learn at home.
Many schools have made learning materials for students that are staying home, and the state has further developed their Learning At Home website with a range of activities for all age groups.
For school-related COVID-19 information in Tasmania you can contact the Department of Education on 800 816 057. Their Service Centre is operational 9am to 5pm weekdays.
Australian Capital Territory
Some private schools will hold in-person classes from this week, while those at public schools will make a physical return on May 18 as part of a staggered reopening.
Preschool, kindergarten and Years 1, 2, and 7 will immediately return, while Years 11 and 12 students will begin to return for those subjects where their physical presence is required.
Students in Years 3, 4, and 10 will return on May 25, with all remaining students expected to return from June 2.
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