- Questions on Notice No 6231
- Assembly59 Parliament First Session
- Asked: 12 October 2021
Question on Notice
Ms Ryan to ask the Minister for Education — What is the plan for multi campus schools such as Greater Shepparton Secondary College when their Mooroopna campus can return on Tuesday and Wednesday at full capacity but not be safe enough to have any students attend on Monday, Thursday and Friday.
- Answered: 24 November 2021
I am informed as follows:
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 staff and students of Greater Shepparton Secondary College 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.
I acknowledge that the Stay-at-Home restrictions have brought significant challenges for our school communities. The highly infectious Delta variant has affected staff and students across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. This includes the communities of the Greater Shepparton LGA who have experienced outbreaks and Stay-at-Home restrictions at times when restrictions in other areas of regional Victoria have eased. However, these measures have been vital in limiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and its devastating impacts. Critically, they have done so by reducing the movement of people across schools, communities and the state while enabling as many Victorians as possible to be vaccinated.
Thankfully, a rise in vaccination rates has provided an opportunity to plan for a careful and staggered resumption for on-site learning in Term 4, 2021. The Government recently released the staged return to on-site learning under the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan. The Roadmap is based on indicative dates as vaccination targets are reached. Under the roadmap, students of Greater Shepparton Secondary College can expect to return to school in a staged transition model, as outlined under the return to onsite learning plan and endorsed by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
With the earlier than predicted achievement of the 80 per cent vaccination target, restrictions that were to be lifted on Tuesday 26 October, were lifted from Friday 22 October. For schools in regional Victoria, including Greater Shepparton Secondary College, all year levels returned to full-time onsite learning on Friday 22 October, the end of the third week, rather than as initially planned on Tuesday 26 October.
In addition, and throughout the staged plan, vulnerable children and children of parents or guardians who are on the authorised provider and authorised worker list have been able to continue attending onsite supervision at Greater Shepparton Secondary College, with remote and flexible learning being delivered to students on the days they are not onsite.
I am so proud of the incredible work our students, teachers, support staff, principals and school communities have undertaken during this challenging time; their ability to adapt and continue to deliver a high standard of education has been exceptional. It is heartening to see such continued interest and concern for the education of children and young people in Greater Shepparton as well as across the state.
When complete, I am confident that Greater Shepparton Secondary College will help deliver the vision of the Shepparton Education Plan - improving student outcomes by empowering all students to learn and achieve, experience high quality teaching and the best conditions for lifelong learning.
The Hon James Merlino MP
Minister for Education
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers