Victorian school principals are extremely anxious about senior students and specialist schoolkids returning to classrooms today in the face of a surge in coronavirus cases, the Australian Principals Federation says.
- Year 11 and 12 students are returning to Victorian state schools today
- Prep to year 10 students return to remote learning a week later
- Schools must adhere to new requirements but some principals only received guidelines late last night, the principals federation says
Yesterday, as the state recorded another 273 coronavirus cases after days of triple-digit growth, Premier Daniel Andrews said there was “no alternative” but a return to remote learning for most state school students.
But VCE students are returning to school today.
Julie Podbury, the president of the Australian Principals Federation, said it would be difficult balancing act to meet the needs of parents and their children as well as looking after the health and wellbeing of staff.
“Many of my principals are reporting extreme anxiety about what they’re about to face in terms of meeting the demands of all the individuals they have to respond to,” Ms Podbury told ABC Radio Melbourne.
She said the coronavirus cluster outbreak at Al-Taqwa College at Truganina, with over 144 infections, demonstrated teachers and students could catch COVID-19 at school.
The school will remain closed until it gets approval to reopen by the Department of Health and Human Services.
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More children were expected to attend school this term than during the previous lockdown, and enforcing social distancing and taking temperature checks was daunting for principals, Ms Podbury said.
“One of my principals contacted me last week and said, ‘How the hell am I supposed to do 1,800 kids with temperature checks in the morning?’
“I’ve got 740