Queensland’s independent schools have called on the Palaszczuk government to allow all Year 11 and 12 students to return to school immediately.
Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) want Year 11 and 12 students to return amid COVID-19 restrictions so they’re not disadvantaged compared to their interstate counterparts.
Schools are open only for students of essential workers and vulnerable children otherwise they remain closed until May 22 in Queensland.
ISQ Executive Director David Robertson stated in his letter to Premier Annasatcia Palaszcuk that every effort should be made to minimise disruption to the continuity of quality teaching and learning.
“I also note that in some other states and territories Year 11 and 12 students are being encouraged to return to schools or are already back at school,” he wrote.
“With Queensland adopting the ATAR for tertiary entrance from this year, it is important that Queensland students are not disadvantaged compared to their counterparts in other states and territories.”
Students have been encouraged to attend school in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory while NSW students will be attending classes one day a week from May 11.
Palaszczuk has previously said that a decision on when students return to school in Queensland will be made by May 15.
ISQ wants any return-to-school plan to include arrangements rural, regional and remote boarding students to provide solutions to safely house them and supervising staff.
“ISQ is also of the view that priority should also be given to the return of Prep to Year 3 students and whilst this may not be possible in terms of an immediate return, this group should be considered for a return as soon as possible,” he wrote.
There are 22,657 Year 11 and 12 students enrolled in independent schools across the state, the ISQ said.
Queensland recorded two new cases on April 25 while the overall toll is 1026.
State Health Minister Steven Miles on Saturday said the state was conducting more than 2000 tests a day, with new testing to incorporate anyone who has a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms.
“We’re determined to find and trace every case in Queensland,” Miles said in a statement.
Queensland had two days with no new cases.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said 964 of the 1026 confirmed cases had recently travelled overseas or had close contact with a confirmed case, such as their partner or flatmate.
By Darren Cartwright