Students start returning to the classroom

A statement from the Premier and Education Minister on the managed return to school.

Image: Students at Rozelle Public School demonstrate distancing in the classroom.

Students across NSW will start returning to the classroom this week as the managed approach to schools begins.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell thanked students, staff, Principals, teachers and support staff for the way they have conducted themselves during this challenging time.

Ms Berejiklian said today was an important step forward for NSW as it demonstrates our commitment to kick starting our economy again and prioritising community recovery.

“Schools are a crucial part of our response to COVID-19 and I want to thank the students, principals, teachers and parents for being flexible and responding quickly to delivering education during the pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I urge parents and carers to follow the advice provided by their schools and encourage them to only send their children on the days they have been allocated.

“This approach means principals can monitor the return of students and address any issues with their school plans as they prepare to return to more face to face learning.

“Today is the first step towards a full school return, something I hope to see happening very soon if the next couple of weeks go well.”

Schools still remain open for all students who need to attend campus every day and the current model of a single unit of work remains to reduce the burden on teachers.

The majority of high schools have provided additional time for Year 12 and on average HSC students will receive three days allocated classroom time.

Ms Mitchell said she was eager to see students back in the classroom and was focused on returning the education of NSW students to normal as quickly as possible.

“Our principals, teachers, support staff, parents and carers have gone above and beyond to continue the education of our students while we respond to this pandemic,” Ms Mitchell said.

A massive logistical effort is underway to ensure that schools remained stocked with essentials and cleaned daily.

“Normally schools stock their hygiene supplies, a huge operation is ongoing to centralise that job while supplies remain hard to source,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Initially, we have dispatched more than 10,800 deliveries to schools, including more than 2000 litres of liquid soap, 22,000 bars of soap, and over 42,000 bottles of hand sanitiser.

“In addition, a first aid room care package containing personal protective equipment and a non-contact temperature monitor has been dispatched to every school in NSW.

“A rolling program of deliveries is scheduled to continue to meet the needs of schools on an ongoing basis.”

Schools are expected to remain in this current stage for at least two weeks.

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