Students in the Murray Plains electorate must be allowed to get back into the classroom, in line with expert medical advice that says our schools are safe.
The Andrews Labor Government is refusing to listen to advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) endorsing a return to school in Term Two.
Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said parents were doing their best to make remote learning work, but with other states re-opening schools it was time for Victoria to do the same.
“Too many families are feeling the pressure of having to simultaneously work and home school their children,” Mr Walsh said.
“It’s frustrating that while other states have made the decision to re-open schools, Daniel Andrews is digging in his heels and ignoring the advice of medical experts.
“Everyone in our community has made big changes in their lives to make sure we protect each other, which has kept the number of positive cases recorded locally very low.
“The experts are telling us our schools are safe. With the right health safeguards students must be able to return to school.”
The Nationals are calling for additional health safeguards to be put in place alongside a return to school.
Staggered drop-offs and pick-ups, banning parents from school premises, banning contact sport and extra-curricular activities, increased funding for deep cleaning and medically-approved hand and surface sanitiser, as well as limiting adult congregation in spaces such as staff rooms are examples of measures that can further protect health and safety.
The Federal Government’s new COVIDSafe App will be critical for contact tracing and helping life to return to normal.
Teachers and support staff considered at heightened risk of COVID-19 due to age, health or other issues should continue to be able to work from home.
“We have consistent advice from the National Cabinet and Australia’s Chief Medical Officer that schools are safe for students to attend,” Mr Walsh said.
“Local students should be allowed back to school, unless they are unwell, or their parents choose for them to learn from home.”