NSW students to return to school one day a week

NSW students to return to school one day a week

NSW students will undergo a staggered return to school from the third week of Term 2, the state’s government revealed today.

The announcement by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell comes as the government continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under these changes, from week three of Term 2, every student will be attending school for one day a week,” Berejiklian said.

“We will look to increase the number of days students are at school in a staged way and hope to have all children back at school full-time by Term 3”.

Berejiklian thanked Catholic and Independent schools, staff, teachers, principals, cleaners and parents for their hard work and understanding during the lockdown.

During the first stage of on-campus learning, the Premier said parents will be encouraged to keep their children home except on their allocated day of face-to-face learning.

Initially, about a quarter of a school’s students are expected to be on site at any one time. The specific days students will be required to attend school each week will vary from school to school and will be clearly communicated to parents.

Classes will be split across schools, allowing schools to appropriately social distance students and teachers.

‘A clear path forward’

Mitchell said careful consideration had been given to support the school community, providing clarity and certainty on the path forward.

“This plan provides a clear path that balances community concerns with a need to deliver continuity of quality education,” Mitchell said.

“Hand sanitiser will be available in all classrooms and provisions are in place for at-risk teachers to work from home. Drop off, pick up, recess and lunchtimes will also be staggered to ensure social distancing”.

In addition to the staged return to school, the NSW Government has committed up to $95.7m to help keep casual and temporary school staff engaged in active work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our casual and temporary teachers and other non-teaching staff across NSW schools are critical to our education system, and will help ensure the educational outcomes for our students during this staged return,” Mitchell said.

A cross-sector working group of teachers will also be established to report back to the Minister on recent innovations and educational developments assembled during the COVID-19 period that are suitable to support future educational delivery.

“It’s important that we have an inventory of the cutting edge teaching solutions and recognise the best efforts of our amazing NSW teachers during a difficult time,” Mitchell said.

Teachers will have an additional day to prepare for Term 2 on Tuesday 28 April making the first day of term for students Wednesday 29 April.