Dozens of Sydney schools cancel HSC trials

Catholic Schools Secondary Association HSC trials are due to begin on August 18 (Bigstock)

Dozens of Sydney schools have cancelled in-person HSC trials amid anxiety from students, parents and teachers about attending campus while COVID-19 case numbers remain high. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

The Catholic sector has also called on the New South Wales Government to “urgently” provide more information on its plan for large-scale COVID-19 screening for schools, and asked it to release the medical advice upon which it based its decision to allow face-to-face HSC classes to resume.

More than 70 schools have pulled out of the Catholic Schools Secondary Association HSC trials, which are due to begin on August 18; most of those will do online assessments instead. Other schools will hold in-person trial exams but will continue with remote learning afterwards.

As Premier Gladys Berejiklian flagged that amendments to her controversial plan to let HSC students return will be released within days, including “strict conditions” for hotspot local government areas, the Catholic sector wrote to Education Minister Sarah Mitchell outlining the challenges faced by its schools.

While it broadly agreed with year 12 returning, the sector was concerned about “whether teachers are willing to return to school in sufficient numbers to support returning students,” wrote Catholic Schools NSW chief executive Dallas McInerney.

He said there was further concern about whether families were willing to have their children move through the community to get to school and if “effective COVID-safe protocols” can be developed for schools.

FULL STORY

Dozens of schools pull out of HSC trials despite return-to-school plan (By Jordan Baker, Sydney Morning Herald)

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