The Australian Government Primary Principals Association (AGPPA) which represents over 5300 leaders from government primary schools across Australia calls for a strong national approach to supporting the continuity of student learning for Government Primary students across Australia whilst also ensuring the safety of students and staff.
States and territories which have acted quickly to initiate “student free days” to allow staff time to plan for an alternative delivery method are to be congratulated.
Whilst AGPPA acknowledges that the Australian Government is basing its approach on “expert medical advice”, the impact on student learning with large numbers of absences and the health concerns of the adults working in schools is now a huge concern to us.
Schools are hubs of the community and the social distancing rules are not appropriate and do not work in primary schools. Each day parents and grandparents drop off, pick up and congregate with their students at schools making social distancing impossible.
AGPPA is calling on the National Cabinet to act in the best interest of all and:
- Make all schools “student free” by the end of this week to allow staff time to prepare for and enact continuity of teaching and learning at home following a planning period,
- Explore all avenues to accommodate the children of essential service workers and vulnerable children where required, and
- Acknowledge the health concerns of staff working in Government Primary Schools all around Australia.
This would provide time and space to ensure that Government Primary Schools are best positioned to support the continuity of teaching and learning for the young children of this country.
Australian Government Primary Principals Association
24 March 2020