Questions on Notice No 6227
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 12 October 2021

Question on Notice

Ms Ryan to ask the Minister for Education — What is the health advice behind a staggered return to schools.
Answered: 23 November 2021

I am informed as follows:


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 (CHO). The recent restrictions in Victoria were put in place to limit potential community cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reducing movement across the state, and this included a staged return to onsite learning.


In September, the Andrews Labor Government released the staged return to on-site learning under the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan. On the 17 of October, because of the early achievement of the 70% vaccination target, the Premier announced some change to the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan. Subsequently, restrictions that were to be lifted on Tuesday 26 October will now be lifted from Friday 22 October.


Victoria’s Roadmap, including for schools, has been based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute as well as the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer. It is set against coronavirus (COVID-19) thresholds including hospitalisation rates, and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National coronavirus (COVID-19) Response.

The staged return to school for students in all Victorian schools, metropolitan and regional, has been designed to help contain and limit the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant and protect the Victorian community. The staged return of on-site learning in Victoria is based on health advice reflecting the different conditions and public health risks.  


Throughout the pandemic, Victorian schools have rapidly and successfully adapted to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, using COVIDSafe principles by reinforcing good behaviours, creating safe environments, modifying activities, and responding quickly to coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.


The Department of Health (DH) and the Department of Education and Training have strategies in place to ensure any potential outbreaks in schools can be quickly controlled.  





The Hon James Merlino MP

Deputy Premier

Minister for Education

Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers


Date: 25 / 10 / 2021