‘Irresponsible’ to send children back to school, parent says

THE Prime Minister wants you to send your children back to school. He's made that clear.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the health advice continues to be that schools remain open, and parents, teachers and students can be confident that school is a safe place.

Trouble is, many parents are not in a rush to send their children back.

Grandparent Louisa Kitchener said education could be done from home and it wasn't worth risking the future generations' health.

"I think until there's a vaccine then parents should be given a choice to keep their children at home safe as long as they are genuinely following the home schooling procedures," Ms Kitchener said.

Joanne Miller said she didn't want her children to be guinea pigs.

"I don't believe anyone really has answers or can guarantee safety," she said.

Mother Tamara Collins won't be sending her children to school.

"Not worth the risk and being at home is a lot safer than being at school at this point until this coronavirus is gone for good," Ms Collins said.

Her children have the complication of an asthma condition.

Net Scofield, like many parents is waiting to see how things pan out.

"It's simply not worth the risk when I can keep him home and still continue with his education," Ms Scofield said.

Daniel Cohen said he couldn't understand the urgency to have children back in classrooms.

"We're supposed to be back two days from next week, but I don't understand the rush," Mr Cohen said.

"We are far from having a safe community. Seems too early, testing isn't widespread and breakouts are occurring elsewhere in the state. Dare I say it, but I believe going back now is irresponsible."

Students attending NSW public schools will progressively return to face-to-face learning in week three of Term 2.

NSW Department of Education said classes would be split across schools, allowing appropriate social distance between students and teachers.

"Under these changes, from week three of Term 2, every student will be attending school for one day a week," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We will look to increase the number of days students are at school in a staged way and hope to have all children back at school full-time by Term 3.

Clare Masters reported on the return to increased face-to-face teaching for NSW students could happen "earlier than expected," according to an internal communication from the NSW Secondary Principals' Council to some NSW school principals.

The letter flags the possibility of social distancing being relaxed in schools beyond ten children in a classroom and the much touted 'five phase' managed return cut short.

"There probably won't be five, and it may all be back in the classroom earlier than anyone expects," the letter reads.

During the first stage of on-campus learning, parents will be encouraged to keep their children home except on their allocated days of face-to-face learning. Initially, about a quarter of a school's students are expected to be on site at any one time.

The specific days students will be required to attend school each week will vary from school to school and will be clearly communicated to parents.



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