Catholic schools welcome return to school plan

4 May 2020

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) says the state’s 307 Catholic schools are ready to begin the staged return to face-to-face schooling announced by the Premier today.

QCEC Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry welcomed the planned return saying it would allow schools to prepare for the additional requirements for changes to school routines needed to adhere to the updated health advice.

“We’re very pleased to see our Seniors and our youngest learners returning first to face-to-face learning from next Monday,” Dr Perry said.

“Our Year 11 and 12 students are on tight timelines to meet the various assessment requirements of the senior years and they will benefit from being among the first back in the school environment.

“At the other end of schooling, our youngest learners in kindy, Prep and Year 1 learn in a variety of ways that are difficult to maintain in isolation and they are also missing out on learning to socialise with one another.”

The plan outlined by the Premier includes the following steps:

  • May 11: Kindy, Prep, Years 1, 11 and 12 return to school
  • May 15: Assess state-wide response to easing of restrictions
  • May 25: Proposed re-opening to remaining students in remaining grades

Dr Perry said Catholic schools would put in place updated plans to ensure they met all the requirements to keep students, staff and families safe as school returns.

“We have been planning for some time for what a return to school might look like and want to see all students back at school as soon as possible, as the Premier has outlined.

“That will mean making changes to some of the usual routines and the impacts will be different from school to school depending on the age of the students and the size of the school.

“We appreciate that a staged return will give school communities time to implement all the necessary changes to their usual routines.”

Dr Perry said a staged return also allowed schools time to make appropriate arrangements for their vulnerable staff.

“Ensuring the wellbeing of our staff and students is the top priority for Catholic schools and we believe the plan outlined by the Premier today will give schools time to appropriately manage staff who are unable to resume their normal duties while the pandemic continues.”

Dr Perry said she expected all Catholic schools would be able to meet the timetable outlined by the Premier for a full return to school.

Read the Premier’s media release here.