By Georgia Parsonson
To minimise the spread of COVID-19, Queensland schools will adapt new staffing methods from August. The number of staff on-site will be limited to the bare minimum required to ensure schools continue running without increasing the reach of the Delta Variant.
Grace Grace, the Minister for Education, said that the Chief Health Officer had advised schools within the 11 Local Government Areas (LGA’s) presently in lockdown to limit their on-site staff to those required only for essential services.
“Queensland has done so well in keeping COVID-19 out of our schools up until now, but the Delta variant is a different situation, and we have to tackle its spread in a different way”, Minister Grace said.
“Principals are working with all of their staff to enable them to make staffing decisions suitable for their school.
“The number of staff at each school will be based on the number of children in attendance and student learning needs. Options such as rotation of which staff are on school sites over the next few days are being considered for implementation. Under this arrangement, the team not at schools will be working from home.
“The Chief Health Officer has also asked that students of essential workers or vulnerable children in attendance at schools in the 11 LGAs should be arranged in small groups (i.e., 5 to 10) wherever possible to minimise any potential health risks. This is particularly important in high schools.
“Student attendance today was 6-7% across the 11 LGA’s, which is a great sign that people are following advice and staying at home.”
According to Minister Grace, Queensland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put the state in a solid position to address the challenging circumstances presented this week. Schools have shifted to meet the need for remote learning, which has returned this week.
“I thank everyone in our school communities for their hard work, flexibility, and cooperation over the last few days.”