Schools

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Last Updated: 29 Mar 2020 1:37pm

Where to find information

Learn the facts and how to keep yourself safe.

The Department of Education website and Facebook page are being updated regularly with alerts and advice for schools, libraries and child and family centres.

For school related COVID-19 information you can also contact the Department of Education on 1800 816 057 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Tasmanian Government schools

Tasmanian public school students will now finish for the Easter break on Friday 3 April.

Teachers will stay at school between 6-9 April to undertake professional learning days. This professional learning will focus on preparing teachers to support learning from home for students.

Parents are able to care for children at home if they choose to and are not required to send their children to school.

It is planned that school sites will open at the commencement of Term 2, Monday 27 April 2020.

See the media release for more information.

School closures

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has considered school closures and recommended schools remain open. The Committee’s advice is that pre-emptive closures are not likely to be proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.

Globally, nearly all children who have been known to be infected with COVID-19 have had mild illness.

Closing schools may inadvertently place older people at increased risk (if they are caring for children on behalf of parents), would make it harder to maintain social distancing measures among children and young people, and would have a major impact on the health workforce.

Our response to COVID-19 is likely to continue for six or more months. Closing schools for six months is not feasible or warranted given what we currently know.

Individual, short-term school closures may be considered if there is a surge of illness in localised areas.

The Tasmanian Government has committed to re-open schools at the end of the school break, subject to the advice of the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee.

More information is available in this letter.

Should I send my child to school

Parents can choose to keep their children home and Government schools where possible will begin to provide resources for learning at home for their students. It will take time for this to occur as education provision is still required as schools are currently open.

There is no need to keep your child home from school or childcare if they are well and do not meet the criteria for self-isolation.

Children should not attend school or childcare if:

  • they are unwell with fever OR acute respiratory illness (eg cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)
  • they meet the criteria for self-isolation (see below).

People need to self-isolate in Tasmania for 14 days if they:

  • have arrived in Tasmania on or after 21 March 2020
  • have arrived in Australia on or after 16 March 2020
  • have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

See self-isolation for more information.

Cancellation of school gatherings

The Tasmanian Government has introduced precautionary measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 in schools. Schools have adopted social distancing measures, including the cancellation of:

  • assemblies and presentation nights
  • excursions
  • travel
  • fetes and fairs
  • concerts (with audiences)
  • all sports carnivals
  • school camps (both local and interstate)
  • face-to-face parent teacher meetings.

These restrictions will be in place until further notice.

Education levy relief

Government School levies for 2020 will be reimbursed. Many of the activities that are funded by school levies are no longer occurring at this stage.

Parents and carers do not need to contact their children’s school, as the process will be managed centrally, and the Department of Education will be putting in place processes to have refunds made within 8 weeks.

If levy payments have not yet been made by parents and carers they will not be required to do so.

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