Education unions in Victoria have asked the Andrews Government to grant schools the power to make their own decisions on remote learning, saying the lives of teachers are being needlessly put at risk. Source: The Age.
With close to 80 Victorian schools forced to close after being linked to recent coronavirus cases, principals should be given licence to send teachers and students home if it suits the school community, instead of being forced to continue teaching senior students face-to-face, the unions said.
In a joint statement, the Australian Education Union and the Independent Education Union demanded that the Education Department drop its one-size-fits-all approach to schools.
They said too many teachers and support staff were being ordered to work on-site when they were not needed to teach year 11 and 12 students.
The call came as Premier Daniel Andrews expressed doubt yesterday that students in years prep to 10 in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire would return to the classroom on August 19, the date previously provided for a review of the current arrangements, given the state had recorded 723 new cases.
One school in Melbourne’s north-west, Catholic Regional College Sydenham, shut this week after seven teachers and multiple students tested positive to COVID-19.
CRC principal Brendan Watson said this week that he did not believe schools were safe to be open. The school’s list of close contacts was growing and that students were now afraid for their own health and their friends’ health.
Teacher unions demand schools make their own calls on remote learning (By Adam Carey and Anna Prytz, The Age)