An empty classroom is seen at a primary school in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
An empty classroom is seen at a primary school in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

New details: Qld’s plan to get kids back in school

QUEENSLAND students will see a staged return to school that could see some grades start first, or children returning one or two days a week, Education Minister Grace Grace says.

Ms Grace said the government was still considering health advice from the nation's medical advisory board that was only delivered on Friday that said school was safe for children and what that meant for their return-to-school plans.

Asked whether senior and junior grades may start sooner, whether students may go just one or two days a week and whether attendance will be mandatory, she said all options were on the table.

 

"Whether it's a staged, staggered approach, and we want to talk to all stakeholders about what's the best," Ms Grace told ABC Radio.

"But clearly we're going to be guided by the medical advice as well and all of those options are on the table."

Ms Grace said she wanted to lift restrictions as soon as possible.

 

"No one wants to disadvantage our students," she said.

"I, for one, as Education Minister certainly don't want to and we're already working on options for a staggered return to school."

"… I have a plan right in front of me about a staged approach, about how we might start to get students back."

She said the changed medical advice was still new.

"The advice of the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee), which only changed that advice on Friday of last week, we are looking at that," she said.

"We are working this week with our chief health officer about what that means, because it still does talk about social distancing for adults.

"School communities are very, very busy workplaces and we need to ensure all of those safeguards are still in place and that's still part of the AHPPC advice."

Meanwhile, Ms Grace hit back at continued criticism from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that the Queensland Government's school's plan was dictated by the Queensland Teachers' Union.

 

"It's an absolutely idiotic statement," she said.

"He doesn't have a clue what he's talking about and, honestly, I think he should stick with national affairs because that's where most of our COVID-19 cases have come from.

"They've come from abroad and he was a bit late in acting in relation to the Ruby Princess and stopping our national borders from flights coming in, which were the vast majority of cases of COVID-19 in Australia."

Australia's Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy has said schools are a safe environment to open.

"We are encouraging schools to reopen," Professor Murphy said last week.

Originally published as New details: Qld's plan to get kids back in school



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