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The Education Department has advised schools that they have a responsibility to provide care and supervision programs for certain groups of students for the rest of this week.

Those groups are:

  • Primary school students and all students in specialist schools who are the children (or under the care) of essential services workers. Examples of essential services may include health, police, corrections and emergency services workers.
  • Primary and secondary school students who are vulnerable, including children in out-of-home care, children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm or children identified by the school as vulnerable, including via referral from outside agencies

The Department has also advised schools to ask parents who are essential service workers if they require holiday program places for their children over the Term 1 holidays due to the State of Emergency, and to work with vulnerable children and their families/carers to establish if they will require a care and supervision program over the Term 1 holiday.

If you are a parent/carer of a student in one of those groups and you haven't been advised of care and supervision arrangements, contact your school. 

If you're not able to get the information you need from the school, contact the Education Department or Parents Victoria.

 

See article in the Herald-Sun with comment from PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy.


Today (23 March) is now the last day of Term 1. School holidays will start tomorrow. DET advises that school staff will use the next four days for planning and preparation for the likely transition to flexible and remote learning.

Speaking to The Age, PV Executive Officer Gail McHardy said school communities would need to ‘‘rise to the occasion and support each other’’.

See the official notification to schools from DET.

Read the article from The Age with PV comments.


Two important updates have been released recently that parents might find useful:

  • Statement from the Victorian Chief Health Officer (19 March) about why the decision has been made to keep schools open.
  • Memo to schools (20 March) from Dr David Howes,Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services. The memo covers attendance and social distancing at school. (The memo refers to an ‘earlier email’, which contained the communication from the Chief Health Officer mentioned above.)

Check the DET website for the latest updates


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.

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