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Practical application of schools plan demands answers

It is crucial the Premier ensures his government is doing everything it can to keep students living with disability safe and engaged in inclusive learning when school returns.

Shadow Minister for Education Josh Willie said Labor was concerned about the practical application of the recently announced schools plan.

“There are over 4000 students in the state system alone receiving reasonable educational adjustments through learning plans,” Mr Willie said.

“The government still has a lot of work to do to ensure all students with a disability have a learning plan implemented satisfactorily, let alone serious medical plans in a COVID environment.

“The Premier must outline today how he will fulfil his promise that every family will receive a phone call from their school and that medical plans will be worked through thoroughly before school commences.

“Teachers are officially back at school just two days before students and they already have a heavy workload preparing for the most unsettling start to the school year in living memory.

“What additional support has the Premier offered schools so he can fulfil his promise that over 4000 phone calls and medical plans will be delivered in two days?

“It is quite clear the schools plan has been designed by people who don’t currently work in the school system and the government is shifting its responsibility to an already stretched education workforce.

“Before the borders opened on 15 December last year, the Premier said Tasmania was prepared. Since that time, we have witnessed the government’s flimsy plans fail, impacting tens of thousands of Tasmanians in other sectors. Will our schools suffer the same fate?

“If families of students with a disability don’t receive a phone call, can’t engage with their school or receive a plan before school commences, how can they have any confidence their child will be COVID safe at school?

“Can the Premier please advise them what to do if he fails to live up to his promise?”

Josh Willie MLC  
Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years