Unless you are the child of an “essential worker” you will need to stop attending school in Queensland from next week and commence home schooling instead.
Making the announcemnt, Premier Annastacia Palasczuck stressed essential work also included those working in supermarkets, transport services as well as health and safety.
“This isn’t just our emergency services workers, it’s not just our police workers, it… involves anyone who is in our workforce, including people who stack shelves at Coles and Woolworths and work in a whole different ranges of industry, that their students will still be allowed to go to school.”
The QLD Minister for Education Grace Grace said the student-free days would allow teaches to prepare for the future education needs of their classes as the situation evolved.
“It will enable our teachers to prepare for learning at home and to be able to deliver the curriculum requirements of students when we work out exactly what is going to happen into the future.
“At the moment, parents can access learning materials via the new Learning At Home Resource Hub, available through the website.”
The premier and minister both stressed the pupil-free days were not an excuse for parents to let children out to roam the streets..
“They should be learning from home next week. They should not be out and about in shopping centres” said Minister Grace.
Queensland is not the only state to instigate pupil-free days. The South Australian premier has announced the state’s school will also go pupil free in the lead up to the Easter holidays and will move to online learning in term two.
However, schools will remain open in South Australia in term two for those parents unable to accommodate students learning from home. The government said it was important to keep this option open in order to safeguard vulnerable children in the community. SA education minister John Gardner said the measures would apply across state, Catholic and independent schools.
In a similar response to his Queensland counterpart, Gardner said teachers would use next week to transition and prepare for delivering online learning.
“We are giving these four pupil-free days to ensure that our teachers and our schools can become familiar with the resources we are providing for them.”
Gardner said the message for parents was clear: “If you are capable of supervising your child at home so they can learn from home, we are now supporting you to do so.”
On Monday premier Andrews advised Victorian schools would break for holidays early while in NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian suggested parents keep their children home if they were able to. In the ACT many parents are also keeping their children away from school although officially schools remain open.