May 15, 2020
Students at Queensland schools – public, independent and Catholic – will return to on-site learning on May 25.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Friday that students in Years 2-10 will join their schoolmates in Kindy, Prep, Year 1 and Years 11- 12 who returned to school on May 11.
“This latest step is only possible given the low transmission rates that Queensland has experienced and thanks to the efforts of all Queenslanders,” the Premier said.
Students with health support needs would continue to be supported and directed by their teachers while they learned from home.
The Queensland Catholic Education Commission welcomed the announcement.
Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the safety of students, staff and families was paramount.
“Catholic schools have been working hard to ensure they have the necessary plans in place to meet health requirements when all year levels eventually return,” Dr Perry said.
“The staged return has allowed schools time to put those plans in place.”
Education Minister Grace Grace said the updated arrangements for the rest of Term 2 had been made in accordance with advice from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).
“At the beginning of the year whoever would have thought we would face a global health pandemic the likes of which we have not seen in our lifetimes,” Ms Grace said.
“We moved quickly to a learning-at-home model when the health advice directed us to do so and it has worked incredibly well in providing students with lessons and activities in the home.
“But of course, we know that nothing can match that face-to-face learning children get in the classroom.
“Our staged return to school has gone so smoothly with parents and carers heeding the advice around stop, drop and go to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all.
“Principals, teachers, teacher aides and staff have done a fantastic job throughout this pandemic and I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.”
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Measures remain in place at Queensland schools to limit the spread of COVID-19 including:
- All adults must maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres and must not gather in groups in and around school grounds, car parks, school gates and outside classrooms.
- Parents should use stop, drop and go options rather than walking children into school grounds.
- Schools will work with their communities to modify student and traffic movements around their schools.
- Strict personal hygiene protocols, including the cleaning of high frequency touch points such as desks and door handles, will remain in place.
- Schools will continue to adapt to this changing situation and may use larger, alternative locations or classrooms within the school, designate new or different drop-off/pick-up points for parents, take advantage of outdoor learning spaces and stagger lunch breaks, start/finish times and other activities to reduce movement around the school.