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Questions remain about schools plan

Serious questions remain about the government’s plan to reopen schools with contact tracing and close contact guidelines deserving further explanation. 

Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said the government needs to provide clear assurances to families that schools will be a safe place for children.

“It is vital the government explain the measures they are putting in place clearly and the reasons behind them,” Mr Willie said.

“With hundreds of schools and over 90,000 students across Tasmania, will Public Health have the resources to stay on top of contact tracing or will it be left to our already stretched education workforce? 

“COVID cases in schools have potential to have a great impact on attendances and the government needs to explain what strategies they have to keep students engaged in education.

“There will be families across Tasmania taking a cautious approach to back to school and some may choose to remove their kids from their learning environment if they are notified of a case at their child’s school.

“Working parents may not have the opportunity to do this and will be forced to keep their child at school until they potentially become a close contact.

“Tasmanian children need to be able to engage in education in a meaningful way that isn’t disrupted this year.

“That is why we need clear communication from the missing Education Minister – the level of concern in the community demands it.

“There is a lot of anxiety in the community right now and the government needs to be explaining their strategies for maintaining attendance, assuring parents schools are safe even if there are COVID outbreaks and how students will remain connected with their class learning if parents do remove their children from school.”

Josh Willie MLC  
Shadow Education Minister