Parent comment on back to school arrangements

Commenting on today’s announcement of back to school plans, Alison Elliott, President of the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations (the peak body for public school parents) said:

“The basis of these plans look familiar to parents – it’s similar to what we had for Term 4 last year. We know that many parents are confident in and support those measures – things like cohorting, masks for year 7 and above, reminders that people stay away if unwell, ventilation and outdoor learning.”

“In addition, the Rapid Antigen Tests being provided for all students and staff will be appreciated and should give an extra level of confidence to families – this was something that some parents were asking for.

It was never going to be possible to please everyone. We’ve heard from a lot of parents who wanted the return to face-to-face learning to be delayed until this peak has passed or primary schoolers can be fully vaccinated. But parents have been very split. An equal number of parents wanted schools to be open from day 1 and were strongly opposed to home learning.

Parents can agree on wanting good information and this announcement today has been much anticipated.

We suggest that parents take a look at the Education Directorate website and emails from their school for the details they are needing.

Parents will also be glad to hear that they will be notified of any positive cases in their child’s class or cohort. That’s something parents want – clear and frank communication about cases.

We also know that Kindergarten parents will appreciate the flexibility being provided – that two parents can come on to school sites for that first day farewell and to help settle kids, and be part of that moment with the excitement and tears!

Parents tell us that they are anxious and worried. I think this will continue. It’s a worrying time.”

We welcome further feedback from parents on the Term 1 arrangements.

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