Queensland schools will fully reopen to all year levels from May 25, the State Education Minister has confirmed.
- Minister Grace Grace says schools will act quickly on outbreaks and anyone sick should stay home
- Students won’t be social distancing but schools will act to limit contact
- Parents are being urged to remain outside school gates and sport and excursions are off
It comes after the youngest and oldest students returned to school last Monday.
“I’m pleased to say that we’ve had a very successful return to school for our preppies and year 1, and of course our kindy students as well, and year 11 and year 12,” Grace Grace said.
“Because of that, the Queensland disaster management committee yesterday resolved that we would stick to our plan and we would welcome back, on Monday May 25, all the rest of the year students from 2 to 10.”
She said this week more than 80 per cent of students had returned to school overall.
“It’s been very successful, I want to thank all the schools for all the work they have done.
“We’re hoping that our staged approach, teachers, families, principals the school community working together to exercise that good hygiene staying away if your sick, will see us in good stead for the rest of the term.”
Ms Grace said new guidelines would be in place for schools from May 25.
“Can I thank also the teachers and the students, who have worked very well together understanding that we are in unprecedented times in this world health pandemic,” she said.
Ms Grace said it was imperative for school communities to work together by exercising good hygiene.
“For us to be here and leading the eastern seaboard states has been a terrific outcome.
Certain school activities such as contact sport, excursions and camps would remain off-limits, and parents were encouraged to remain outside the school gates for drop-offs and pick-ups.
Ms Grace said schools were taking a “commonsense” approach to contact, and restrictions would be lifted in due course, but warned that Queensland was not out of the woods yet on the coronavirus threat.
“Can I just put out the plea again though, that if anyone at all is feeling unwell with any symptoms at all, that they do not turn up to school or work,” Ms Grace said.
No social distancing for students
The Minister said schools were prepared if a student tested positive for COVID-19.
“We would hate for an outbreak but of course we won’t hesitate,” she said.
“If there is an outbreak, the school will be closed down, go through an intensive clean and the turnaround would take around three or four days.”
Ms Grace said schools would be implementing several strategies, including staggered lunchtimes and start and finish times, but that there would be no specific social distancing required from students.
“But if we can have smaller classroom sizes, schools are trying to accommodate as best they can,” she said.
“I think it’s important that we still maintain all the right protocols when it comes to back to school — the little ones are a little bit different, I think it’s recognised that practically that’s difficult for social distancing but schools have done a fantastic job in making sure everyone is kept safe.”