South Australia’s teachers have been told to return to the classroom, creating confusion for staff, students and parents.
The move comes as SA Premier Steven Marshall says there is now “much further clarity” around schooling for term two and that students are encouraged to attend face-to-face classes.
However, Australian Education Union (AEU) SA branch president, Lara Golding, has launched a protest, urging parents to keep their children home at the commencement of Term 2.
“Schools and preschools with high student attendance cannot provide a safe environment as described by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee Guidelines,” Golding said.
The AEU said it has examined the responses from other States, some of which are encouraging parents to keep their children home and setting guidelines for safe class sizes.
“Social isolation is common sense. It seems that our Premier has less regard for the health and safety of his education staff and students than interstate leaders”, Golding said.
“Unless Premier Marshall can guarantee the health and safety of students and staff in preschools and schools, parents should keep their children home wherever they can”.
Late last term, an AEU (SA) survey of 1400 members demonstrated that most sites did not have adequate hand sanitiser, nor rigorous or frequent touch point cleaning.
According to 71.4% of members participating in the survey identified that report that students are not practising social distancing.
“Our campaign aims to convince parents to keep children home until the Marshall Government provides a COVID-19 safe learning environment, in line with the AHPPC guidelines, or the community is no longer at risk from the transmission of the virus, Golding said.