Coronavirus WA Education position and update

Today, the Government has announced all public schools in Western Australia will remain open until the end of term – Thursday, 9 April 2020.

 

However, families are now encouraged to keep their children at home if they have the capacity to do so.  The Department’s learning from home resources are available to them.

 

What this means for your school is:

  • From Monday, 30 March to Friday, 3 April all children who attend school will be taught as normal.
  • The following week (6 to 9 April) teachers and education assistants will prepare teaching programs for Term 2. During this time (6 to 9 April), students who attend school will be supervised, but not taught normal lessons.
  • Term 2 2020 - commencing Tuesday 28 April 2020: At this stage, arrangements for Term 2 have not been finalised. The State Government is working on developing a longer term education model for Term 2 and beyond in response to COVID-19.

The Government recognises there will still be families who need to send their children to school to continue their learning during this period.  These may include:

  • Children of parents and carers who need their children to attend school to maintain employment.
  • Children who live in families with aged relatives.
  • Children where it is safer for them to be at school.
The Minister's letter to parents can be found here.



***********************

 

Western Australians should remain alert, but not be alarmed. The Department of Health has a snapshot on the current situation in Western Australia here.

The Premier's media statement re. important new COVID-19 measures can be found here:
https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2020/03/Important-new-COVID-19-measures-come-into-effect-.aspx

 

Attendance at school

On Sunday 15 March, the Prime Minister introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14 day self-isolation requirement will be placed on all international arrivals into Australia effective from15 March, 2020. This also applies to all parents/carers, contractors, visitors and volunteers on school sites.

    

Students or staff cannot attend school or work and need to self-isolate if they have also been informed by public health authorities that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case and they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case. Students or staff who have tested for COVID-19 should follow the advice of the Department of Health and stay away from school whilst awaiting results.

 

Students whose parents have chosen to keep them home, without seeking medical advice, will not be provided curriculum work and activities. The priority for staff is to maintain focus on classroom learning programs. In the event of a temporary school closure, further advice will be provided.

 

 

Front line services and mass gatherings 

On Wednesday, 18 March the Australian Government announced that all organised, non-essential mass gatherings attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and more than 500 people for outdoors events must be cancelled from Wednesday 18 March 2020. 

 

Support and advice

Further information is available at www.healthy.wa.wa.gov.au/coronavirus or the healthdirect helpline on 1800 020 080 for more information on the virus and its symptoms.

Student Wellbeing website

Given the extensive media coverage, some children are already aware of the impact of the virus and will pick up on the concerns and anxiety of others. This could be through listening and observing what is happening online, at home and school.

 

The Learning at home website provides advice and resources for parents and carers, educators and students. This includes a wide range of resources and information related to the impact of COVID-19 on students’ health and wellbeing and the impact on families. It also includes vital information for schools to understand how they can best support students and families to access services and information.  The website will continue to be updated over the coming weeks.

 

Our educators should continue to access the support of school psychologists, school chaplains and Schools of Special Educational Needs.

 

A Student Wellbeing Response, Recovery Advisory Team has been established to identify and respond to emerging issues for educators and support staff. The team can be contacted on 6206 2098 or at covid19.studentwellbeing@education.wa.edu.au.

Please visit the information on Support for parents and carers

 

Parents are advised that, if they need urgent mental health advice and support for themselves or their child, there is a 24 hour crisis support line 1800 048 636.