Caloundra mum Mel Say with children Kairyn, 10, and Harper, 7.
Caloundra mum Mel Say with children Kairyn, 10, and Harper, 7.

Caloundra mum’s classroom concern for children

SUNSHINE Coast parents who are unable to homeschool their children will be allowed to send their children to the classroom on Monday despite a pupil-free week.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Thursday that schools would move to pupil-free days, ahead of the April break.

It comes as the Queensland Government scrambles to prepare schools for any future scenario the global COVID-19 pandemic could create, including months of remote learning.

The pupil-free week is designed to allow teachers time to prepare for the event of long-term remote learning.

The premier said anyone with a job would still be able to send their children to class.

For Caloundra mum Mel Say, who works in Caboolture as a public servant and cannot work from home, the news is welcome.

“I am a public servant, but my work is not in a position where I can work from home, we don’t have the resources,” Mrs Say said.

“So I have to send my kids to school.

“If I had the option to have the kids at home, most definitely I would. People in that position are lucky.”

Two of her children, Harper, 7, and Kairyn, 10, attend Baringa State School, but Mrs Say was left frustrated after the school combined classes instead of keeping the students in the same cohort.

“It’s really frustrating that schools are combining classes,” Mrs Say said.

“It doesn’t support social distancing.

“If every second desk was empty it would feel safe.”

Attempts to contact Baringa State School were made and a spokeswoman from the school directed questions to the Department of Education who said “it is up to the individual schools to best manage their practices, not a directive.”

Teachers and other school staff who are over 60 or vulnerable to the virus will not be required to have contact in the school environment and can also choose to work from home as part of the new measures.

“I think that is absolutely important,” the premier said.

“This is an unprecedented time in our history.”



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