WA pushing students back
WA students are being urged to get back into classrooms.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Suzanne Mary Ellery have issued a joint statement telling students “It is time to come back to school”.
Western Australia will become one of the first Australian states to return to full-time classroom learning , with students required to attend school in person from week four of Term Two or face being shut out from online learning modules and potential fines for absenteeism.
WA’s schools attendance rate was 85.6 per cent this week – the highest figure since the emergence of COVID-19, but still around five per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels.
New policies require cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, high-touch surfaces and play equipment, as well as measures to limit contact, including restricting parents from entering school grounds at pick-up and drop-off.
Ms Ellery says disengaged students must return to classrooms.
“We want all of those children back at school, not just because their education will suffer, but because all of the supports that the most disadvantaged children need are absent from their lives,” she said.
“It is a safe place for students who sometimes don't have any other safe places.”
There are exceptions students with medical conditions or who are immunocompromised, or those with vulnerable family members.
There are also special provisions for boarding school students, including additional safety measures and spread-out sleeping arrangements to limit virus spread.