The Opposition has called for the Labor Government to detail what COVID-19 measures will be in place for schools across WA, given Term One begins next week.
Shadow Education and Training Minister Peter Rundle said there has been no announcement from the Education Minister on what teachers, families and children will need to do to stay safe at school.
“There has been no clarity around what protocols are in place if positive cases are detected in schools or whether they would need to close down if an outbreak occurred,” Mr Rundle said.
“The Labor Government must also release detail on what will happen with children who have only had one vaccination by the time school returns and how they will be educated if they are not allowed in schools.
“More questions have also been raised with me about whether teachers and students will be subject to rapid antigen testing, and if a teacher tests positive, how long they have to quarantine for.
“School starts in one week but there is a huge void of information that has not been filled by the Education Minister – this is only inflating the anxiety being felt by education staff and families.”
Mr Rundle said the Premier and his Government has had two years to put together a plan for WA’s schools but instead they squandered the gift of time and have left the education sector without any clear direction.
“The Labor Government failed to initiate a plan for our schools, which is not surprising given the raft of issues within the sector which are yet to be addressed.
“Suitable housing for education staff and a lack of relief teachers also adds another layer of pressure and worry onto our schools, and in turn, the community.
“The Opposition repeatedly asked the Premier last year whether there would be a teacher in front of every classroom in 2022, but he refused to take those questions seriously.
“With no plan and no clarity, the Government has done nothing to reassure families that their children will receive the best education possible.”
Mr Rundle also said WA’s TAFE network has also been anxiously waiting for clarity in relation to the management of students, their vaccination status, and whether they will be allowed on campus.
“Lecturing and administrative staff on TAFE campuses are all required to be double vaccinated, but there has been no indication about whether all students will need to be.
“The Education Minister is failing West Australians by failing to provide clarity and certainty – I call on her to urgently detail the plan so all education providers can prepare appropriately.”