COVID19 – Victorian “Roadmap” to easing restrictions

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has announced the “roadmaps” for easing COVID19 related restrictions in Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The proposed changes relating to education are summarised below –

 

Commencement / Triggers

Greater Melbourne

Regional Victoria

Greater Melbourne: First Step commences at 11.59pm on 13 September

Childcare and early educators: closed except for permitted workers

Schools: remote learning unless an exemption applies

See Step Two below.
Second Step

Greater Melbourne: Later of an average daily case rate of 30-50 cases in Metro Melbourne over previous 14 days with public health advice regarding transmission source threshold OR 28 September 2020

Regional Victoria: Second step at 11.59pm on 13 September

Childcare and early educators: re-opens

Schools: remote learning with staged return for onsite learning for Prep to Grade 2, VCE/VCAL and specialist schools in Term 4

 Childcare and early educators: open.

Schools: return to onsite learning for all students in Term 4 with safety measures in place.

Third Step

 Greater Melbourne: Childcare and early educators: open
Schools: remote learning with potential staged return for onsite learning for Grade 3 to Grade 10 based on public health advice

Regional Victoria: regional Victoria reaches <5 new cases (regional average over last 14 days) and 0 cases with unknown source (regional total last 14 days)

Childcare and early educators: open

Schools: remote learning with potential staged return for onsite learning for Grade 3 to Grade 10 based on public health advice

 Childcare and early educators: open.

Schools: return to onsite learning for all students in Term 4 with safety measures in place.

 Last Step

Greater Melbourne: Childcare and early educators: open
Schools: remote learning with potential staged return for onsite learning for Grade 3 to Grade 10 based on public health advice

Regional Victoria: No new cases for 14 days (state-wide) but not before 23 November 2020

Childcare and early educators: open
Schools: remote learning with potential staged return for onsite learning for Grade 3 to Grade 10 based on public health advice

 Childcare and early educators: open.
Schools: onsite learning for all with safety measures in place.

The Premier provided a little more detail in his media release on 6 September indicating that –

“All VCE and VCAL students – in Melbourne and regional Victoria – will attend onsite for the General Achievement Test and other essential assessments from 5 October.

In regional Victoria, all students will return to onsite learning between 12 and 16 October and in Melbourne, VCE and VCAL students and Prep to Grade 2 will also return for onsite learning from the 12 of October.”

These changes reflect the approach that the Government will be taking for Government schools, outlined in more detail here.  While non-government schools will undoubtedly follow the broad approaches the strict legal requirements are contained in the public health orders as issued and updated from time to time, available at the bottom of this page

It may well be that in a particular local context that a non-government school may not follow exactly the approach of Government schools, while of course strictly adhering to an applicable public health orders.  This might be the case, for example, if schools have multi-grade classes or if a staged return is not appropriate or practical given staffing constraints.  These sort of variations to the broad ‘roadmap’ could very well be perfectly acceptable depending on the public health orders at the time.  Unfortunately these orders, giving effect to the various stages of the ‘roadmap’ are not yet available.

We will publish more information as it becomes available.

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