News, media releases

Government needs to outline its winter plan as COVID takes hold in schools

Parents, students and teaching staff want to know what measures the Gutwein Government will put in place as COVID takes a toll on school communities and colder weather fast approaches.

With more than 100 schools across Tasmania experiencing COVID outbreaks, when will Minister Roger Jaensch tell staff and students what plans will be put in place to curb the spread of the disease?

Does the government intend to force classes outdoors to stem the spread or direct windows to remain open in poorly ventilated classrooms during the colder autumn and winter months?

Or is there a plan to close schools as the government loses control of the outbreak?

More and more families are receiving notification of outbreaks in their children’s schools but there is no information being shared about what will come next.

It’s become abundantly clear there was no plan for the inevitability of COVID entering schools when the government opened the borders to the virus and to have no plan going forward is unacceptable.

Students, staff and families need to be planning now to avoid similar chaos because the Gutwein Government failed to plan.

The Liberals cannot simply continue to sit on their hands and do nothing about the situation because there are economic and social consequences for education disruptions.

Tasmania already lags the nation in education outcomes and if education through winter is poorly managed by the Gutwein Government our students will fall further behind.  

Tasmanians know Peter Gutwein’s government was not ready for the border to be re-opened and as we see case numbers explode in the community, schools will continue to be affected and I urge Mr Jaensch to reveal what safety plan he has in place.

Josh Willie MLC  
Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years