Confusion on return to school

CONFUSION about whether local primary schools will return as planned on February 9 continues despite attempts by the Government to hose down the issue.

Last week, when asked by the Opposition whether the 2022 school year would be delayed so that five to 11 year olds could get a Covid-19 vaccination, Premier Peter Gutwein left the door open.

“If it means we need to delay a start to the school year by having children turn up to get vaccinated as opposed to going to their classrooms then we will do that if that is the Public Health advice,’’ Mr Gutwein said.
“I want to make it clear to parents that we would do everything we possibly can if we had a vaccine to ensure that their children are vaccinated, to ensure that we give them every opportunity.”

“I will take every step that I can to ensure that if that vaccination is approved that we provide the opportunity for those children to be vaccinated before they go back to school.’’

The news of a possible delay to the start of school caused confusion among parents and the school community.

Education Minister Sarah Courtney said her expectation was that “we will (be) seeing young people returning to schools on February 9’’.
“In line with preparations for our state plan to transition to our border opening, we are implementing through the Department of Education, a range of measures to reduce the potential transmission of
Covid-19 in schools and other sites, once the border opens, in close consultation with Public Health.
“Work under way includes natural ventilation improvements, with window assessments and repairs under way; mechanical ventilation, repairs and maintenance; air conditioning maintenance, which includes filter replacement; purchasing air purifiers, we now have 1500 on order; and promoting and encouraging all outdoor learning through enhanced facilities.”.