State backflips on parent prep ban

 

Queensland parents will now be allowed to enter school grounds to take their children to class on the first day of school next year as long as they follow social distancing requirements.

In a letter to schools this week Education Department Director-General Tony Cook said as COVID-19 restrictions eased across Queensland this week, parents and carers were welcome on school sites as long as they adhered to social distancing, room capacities, and hygiene practices.

He also said schools should review their plans for welcoming new students and their parents on the first day of school in 2021 to reflect the easing of restrictions, allowing more parents to accompany their children.

The directive comes after The Courier-Mail revealed parents were devastated they would be barred from taking their Preppies to the classroom on the first day of school in 2021.

Queensland parents had slammed the health advice which prevented parents from entering schools amid zero locally acquired coronavirus cases while stadiums have permitted tens of thousands of sports fans.

Mr Cook wrote in the letter that as the end of school fast approached, orientation days and graduation ceremonies could be planned with increased numbers of parents able to attend adhering to 1 person per 2 square metres.

"These are significant and meaningful days, and allowing parents to attend with their children can set the tone for a long and positive engagement with their child's education and the school community," he wrote.

"In addition, preparations for the start of the 2021 school year are under way, with many schools planning how to welcome their new cohort of students and the parents who may wish to escort them onto school grounds.

"Schools should review their plans for the 2021 school year to reflect the easing of restrictions announced by the Premier last week which enables more parents and carers to accompany their children to school if desired."

P & C's Queensland chief executive Scott Wiseman said the changes were great news.

"I'm sure parents will be very, very happy to be more engaged with the education and schooling of their children," he said.

"The caution is that we all need to still abide by Covid safe practices and observe social distancing and use hand sanitiser and take all those sorts of precautions, and lead by example for our children."

He said the changes would allow P & C's "to get back up to speed in supporting schools and their children".

Originally published as State backflips on parent prep ban


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