Schools – Stage 4 restrictions update

Yesterday, the Victorian Government announced that, on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, regional and rural Victoria will move to Stage 3 restrictions and metropolitan Melbourne will move to Stage 4 restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As outlined in the Chief Health Officer’s advice on Friday, schools remain safe places for staff and students. However, these steps have been identified as critical measures to reduce the movement of students and families across the State.

Summary:

  • All Year 11 and 12 provision for both VCE and VCAL will move to remote and flexible learning.
  • Prep to Year 10 students will continue with remote and flexible learning in metropolitan Melbourne and these students in regional areas will commence remote and flexible learning.
  • Any child enrolled in a specialist school in rural and regional Victoria will be able to continue to attend.
  • These requirements apply to all schools across the government, Catholic and independent sectors and across all metropolitan Melbourne and rural and regional Victoria.

The changes to school operations will come into effect from Wednesday 5 August and are likely to apply until the end of Term 3.

For students in Hawthorn, the Metropolitan Melbourne restrictions apply and are as follows:

PREP TO YEAR 10

  • Prep to Year 10 students will continue with remote and flexible learning.
  • The criteria for students that can attend on site has changed as follows:
    • Children whose parents are permitted workers. The Victorian Government will provide further advice about this over the coming days
    • Vulnerable children in out of home care, children known to child protection and other agencies and children the school identifies as vulnerable
    • Children with a disability who fit one of the above two categories.

Senior Secondary Year 11 and 12 (VCE AND VCAL)

  • All Year 11 and 12 provision for both VCE and VCAL will move to remote and flexible learning.
  • The GAT will be rescheduled from Wednesday 9 September to Wednesday 7 October
  • The schedule for the VCE examinations and release of results will remain as previously advised.
  • Further information about consideration of disadvantage and coronavirus (COVID-19) will be provided shortly.

Specialist Schools 

  • On site provision in specialist schools will only be available to children whose parents are permitted workers, and vulnerable children.

Timeline – What will happen in the upcoming days.

  • Monday 3 August will be a ‘normal’ day of school under current arrangements, with students attending on site asked to take all their necessary learning materials home.
  • Tuesday 4 August will be a student-free day across Victoria to enable teachers, especially in rural and regional Victoria, to prepare for flexible and remote learning.
  • Wednesday 5 August will be the first day of new arrangements for schools across Victoria.
  • This is a day ahead of the statewide introduction of the Stage 3 restrictions in rural and regional Victoria, but will provide for a smooth transition and will enable as much continuity of learning as possible.

For Schools:

  • Schools must ensure sufficient staff are available for necessary on-site supervision.
  • Appropriately qualified school staff, including teachers and education support staff, and CRTs can support the on-site supervision program.
  • Principals should consult with their staff to identify those willing and able to work on-site, either on an ongoing or rostered basis. This should take place in the context of the consultative arrangements in place at each school to ensure staff are consulted on, and have input into, the ways that work may be organised and allocated.
  • Staff not required for on-site supervision must work from home.

 

This is not an ideal circumstance. We thank all the teacher, support staff, students and parents for their cooperation in keeping our community safe. A focus on health and education remains a top priority for the Andrews Government.