Questions on Notice No 6230
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 12 October 2021

Question on Notice

Ms Ryan to ask the Minister for Education — Why was it safe for 107 Seymour College Year 12 students to return from the start of term but not the 17 primary school aged students at Tooborac Primary School.
Answered: 23 November 2021

The Minister for Education: 


The safety and wellbeing of students and school staff is of the utmost importance to the Andrews Labor Government and the Department of Education and Training, and the children of Seymour College and Tooborac Primary School, are no exception.


Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, decisions on the operation of Victorian schools have been made on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer.


On 19 September the Chief Health Officer declared that Mitchell Shire LGA would go into lockdown with restrictions the same as those in the metropolitan Melbourne, excluding the curfew. Mitchell Shire LGA’s lockdown ended on October 13 and schools within that LGA are now operating in line with directions for regional Victoria.

On October 12 (date question was taken on notice), Seymour College and Tooborac Primary were operating in line with metropolitan Melbourne’s restricted activity directions.


Under the Roadmap, in metropolitan Melbourne (and restricted regions) students studying Unit 3 and 4 subjects and final year VCAL and International Baccalaureate students had returned to onsite learning from Wednesday 6 October 2021.  


Mitchell Shire LGA is now operating in line with regional Victoria, and as a result of the early achievement of the 70 per cent vaccination target, all year levels returned to full-time onsite learning on Friday 22 October.


Thankfully, the rise in vaccination rates has provided an opportunity to plan for a careful and staggered resumption for on-site learning. Children in smaller schools across regional Victoria like Tooborac returned to onsite learning in a way that is consistent with the principles of the staggered return, which is on recommendation of the Victorian Chief Health Officer.



The Hon James Merlino MP

Deputy Premier

Minister for Education

Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers


Date: 25 / 10 / 2021