New boarding guidelines welcomed

18 June 2020

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) says boarding schools are looking forward to welcoming back more students in Term 3 following the overnight release of new health guidelines for boarding facilities.

QCEC Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the new guidelines from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) would allow boarding schools to finalise their plans for Term 3.

“QCEC has been calling for these updated guidelines for many weeks now and we are pleased to see them finally released,” Dr Perry said.

More than 1,000 students enrolled at Queensland Catholic boarding schools are still learning at home because of the limitations of the previous guidelines.

Dr Perry said the new guidelines removed the recommendation for boarding house dormitories to operate at 25 per cent capacity and instead focused on schools managing the risks of students sharing living quarters.

“We believe this is where the focus should now be, given the very low virus case numbers,” she said.

“Boarding schools have been developing their plans for safely accommodating all students and managing any outbreak of the virus within the school community.

“Our schools have been well supported by Queensland health authorities during the pandemic and schools will maintain this supportive and collaborative relationship into the future.

“We want to see all students receiving the benefits of face to face teaching and learning as soon as possible.

“Our boarding families have done a wonderful job keeping students engaged with their learning with the support of their schools.

“Soon we hope to see these students back in their school facilities, enjoying the company of their friends, the direct interaction with their teachers and resuming their learning routines.”