• Secretary's update

Welcome back to school everyone

11 May 2020

The Secretary thanks all school and corporate staff for rising to the challenge of COVID-19.

Two girls playing with hula hoops on grass.
Image: Our staff have provided education continuity and wellbeing as we begin the transition back to face-to-face learning.

Today is day one of our managed return to schools. I was delighted to see school children out and about this morning, and I’d like to extend my warmest welcome to all staff and students who have returned to face-to-face learning today.

This phase follows an absolutely heroic effort to move to learning from home – an achievement which cannot be underestimated. I want to thank our teachers, non-teaching staff and school leadership teams across the state for ensuring education continuity and wellbeing across the last five weeks, where most of our students were learning from home.

There have been a total of 2.7 million page views on our Learning from home hub, including 696,000 unique users, 930,000 sessions and around 400,000 resource downloads. Around 35,000 of our teachers have completed 110,000 professional learning activities online. Our teams have delivered thousands of laptops and tablets, dongles and SIM cards, to support learning from home.

We have a world-class profession that has collectively risen to the challenge of students first at all times with enormous commitment. I am most proud of the efforts of our profession.

From today every child will have at least a day a week at school, and HSC students will have on average 3.5 days a week face to face.

A huge effort has been made to implement new cleaning regimes and to ensure our schools have the appropriate hygiene supplies, information and support in place. In the week commencing 27 April, more than 550,000 items were dispatched in preparation for students to return to school, such as bottles of hand sanitiser, surface spray, hand soap and 2,208 first aid care packages. We have been working very hard to get you the supplies you need, but if you do need anything extra please contact your local asset management team.

Equally our schools have risen to the challenge of developing staggered timetabling, workforce planning and much more. Thank you to everyone. Please know that we’ll be supporting you with information, advice and guidance throughout our continued return to face-to-face learning.

Mark Scott

About the Secretary

Mark Scott is Secretary of the Department of Education. He has worked as a teacher, in public administration and as a journalist and media executive. He is committed to public education and learning environments where every child can flourish.

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