With the start of the new school year just 21 days away the Gutwein Government and Minister Sarah Courtney are running out of time to come clean with teachers, parents and students on what critical COVID safety measures they have implemented.
Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said Ms Courtney needs to urgently address crucial questions including how many Rapid Antigen Tests the government will make available to schools, whether masks will be required and provided to staff and students and how much of the important required ventilation work at schools has been finished.
“If students and staff will be required to undertake rapid antigen testing, has the government purchased enough to ensure testing is undertaken with the frequency required?” Mr Willie said.
“If not, will families and staff be required to source and pay for RATS themselves when there is a critical shortage?
“Has a risk assessment been done for young children wearing masks, when they often touch their face, lose possessions and share school items like hats?
“Will students and staff be required to wear masks and, if so, will they be provided by the government or will they need to source them for themselves?
“Will N95 masks be provided or has Ms Courtney failed to source supply because, as everyone knows, they are next to impossible to purchase at the moment.
“When will Ms Courtney release specific details of the safety measures she claims to have put in place because she has failed at the first hurdle in keeping secret her department’s audit of all Education Department buildings which was undertaken last year.
“Mums and dads, students, teachers and other school staff are right to be asking for answers from this Minister and the government as the countdown to the new school term on February 9 draws closer.
“Parents and staff need to be making plans now for Term One – not in the days before February 9 – and Ms Courtney, who has been utterly missing in action on her key responsibilities as Minister, needs to release her plan or admit she does not have one.”
Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years