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COVID-19 update from Minister for Education and CE, Department for Education

20 July 2021

We received this information from the Minister for Education and the Chief Executive of Department for Education today:

The Premier has announced a 7-day statewide lockdown from 6pm tonight.

All schools, preschools and early childhood services will remain open for children of essential workers or vulnerable children who need to attend school, preschool or an early childhood service – no child will be turned away. Like the lockdown last year, we expect this number to be very small and therefore sites should operate a skeleton staff (please ensure a minimum of 2 people). Everyone else will be expected to work remotely.

Importantly, skeleton staff on site and any central staff who can’t work from home in support of sites are essential workers.

Teachers and leaders are not expected to operate a learning program tomorrow. Tomorrow can be considered a pupil free day except where essential worker or vulnerable children require supervision on site. Site based staff will use this time to set everything up and prepare to restart lessons on Thursday.

However, if your school is ready to move straight to remote learning overnight, then please proceed.

Please do the following:

  • Complete the rest of the school day as normal – students and staff should stay at school.
  • Do not shut your site early and do not ask parents to pick their children up early.
  • If parents choose to collect their children early, that’s ok. Please use your usual protocol for recording students leaving.
  • OSHC should continue to run this afternoon as normal.
  • School buses and taxis will run as normal this afternoon and for the remainder of the lockdown.
  • You must allow and encourage your students to take home school laptops/devices, books, and anything they need to continue their learning from home.
  • Teachers and leaders must take home devices, books and all of the resources and materials you need to continue teaching and supporting your students to learn from home.
  • Central staff should also take home devices and anything they need to work from home, and divert phones.

OSHC during the lockdown:

  • OSHC services are able to provide before and after school hours care for children of essential workers and vulnerable children as per normal school days.
  • Whether an OSHC service is open to provide before and after school care is a business decision, but we would encourage them to stay open.
  • Advice about Child Care Subsidy arrangements will be provided to OSHC services in separate communications from the Australian Government.

Leaders:

  • Consult with staff to assign a skeleton staff to provide adequate supervision to the children of essential workers and vulnerable children for the full period of the lockdown.
  • Please make sure you can easily access anything SA Health might need for contact tracing – the physical sign-in sheet, contact details for all staff, students and parents, and class timetable details.
  • Assign someone to have electronic or phone contact with any known vulnerable learners in your school.
  • Leaders in central must have contact details for everyone in your team.
  • OSHC can continue to run to provide service to essential workers children and vulnerable children. This is an individual decision.

Attached is an editable parent letter to assist you with communicating with your school community.

The social work duty line will continue to operate and support schools with concerns about general wellbeing as well as attendance.

This is a challenging time. But we have complete trust and confidence in every one of you. We will support each other and our students through this time.

We’ll continue to provide more information as it comes to hand.

Take care of yourselves.

  

Hon John Gardner MP
Minister for Education                                                           

Rick Persse
Chief Executive