Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Education spokesperson
The Greens acknowledge the decision to reopen schools after the break for the children of essential workers and disadvantaged students, but urge great caution to minimise the risk of COVID spread and to avoid mixed messaging to parents.
Teachers in high risk groups must be protected.
We were disappointed the Prime Minister yesterday stepped in to an area of clear State responsibility to chide and confuse parents and teachers.
The Prime Minister needs to back off. He’s not helping in an already highly stressful time for teachers, students and their parents.
We recognise some students are educationally disadvantaged by lack of access to computers and internet, or a home environment not conducive to learning.
These students and their families need support, as do the children and parents of health and emergency workers.
As we know, it's impractical to expect children to maintain physical distancing in schools. Reducing the student population in school settings is critical to lower the risk of transmission to students, at-risk educators and family members.
Schools may be low risk environment for coronavirus spread, but they’re not no risk and caution is required.