Australia

Victoria’s coronavirus Roadmap: Students from Years 3 to 10 may not return to class this year

Thousands of students in metropolitan Melbourne in years three to 10 may not be back in the classroom for the final term of 2020.School students in those years can only go back to the classroom from October 26 if there are fewer than five new coronavirus cases across the state, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on…

Thousands of students in metropolitan Melbourne in years three to 10 may not be back in the classroom for the final term of 2020.

School students in those years can only go back to the classroom from October 26 if there are fewer than five new coronavirus cases across the state, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday.

“In terms of grade three to ten remote and flexible learning, learning from home continues … subject to the data and subject to the number of virus cases,” he said.

“We aim to try to get kids back [to school] but that’s got to be done safely.”

The premier said he wasn’t able to outline a timeline for students in those years beyond what had been released.

Students in prep to year two, as well as those doing VCE, VCAL and specialist students, would be able to return to class from week two, he confirmed.

Victoria’s Education Minister James Merlino said a “staged return” to the classroom for the majority of students would be based on case numbers and advice from the public health team.

There was time to address issues facing students in prep to Year 11 including their wellbeing and mental health, he said.

“We’ve got time to address catch-up learning and we’ll do that in term four and in 2021,” he said.

But students in Year 12 needed to be prioritised because it is their final year of secondary education.

Mr Merlino said every decision the government has made has been about ensuring this is “a year of meaning” for Year 12 students and “that their results are a fair reflection of their ability and their performance”.

He was “very confident” students in metropolitan Melbourne wouldn’t be disadvantaged because of the changes.

Students in regional areas will be able to head back to class for a staged return in Term 4.

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