Normal school operations must end

Federation is monitoring the virus situation as it unfolds, and providing regular information updates on its website at

Federation has today called on the Government to stop delaying the inevitable and put the health and safety of students and staff first during the COVID-19 crisis.

Federation Executive noted that some progress had been made on a range of conditions (24 hours: Federation in action) after a week of daily representations to the Department.

However, Executive stated: “It is now essential that an immediate transition to an emergency mode of school operation be put in place with minimum staffing (to support essential frontline services workers who are unable to care for their children during this crisis) and vulnerable students with systems in place to provide maximum health protection for all present on sites.

“Staff not rostered on minimal supervision will work from home providing educational continuity as far as is practicable for students online. The arrangements for staff in high-risk categories working from home continue unaltered.

Notwithstanding positive developments achieved by Federation the latest heath advice has exacerbated our concerns. Federation is seeking a response to a series of contradictory statements including:

  • the need to observe social distancing protocols which are impossible to implement in classrooms, corridors and most school playgrounds
  • statements that children are low-risk agents for the virus at school but suddenly become high-risk agents in shopping centres and public playgrounds, while also ignoring the fact that tens of thousands are travelling on trains and buses each morning and afternoon
  • statements expressing concern about kids infecting grandparents but not teachers, many of whom are also grandparents.

Yesterday, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer responded to Federation question over these issues saying: “Sorry. I can’t reconcile the contradictions.”

An urgent meeting is being sought with the NSW Premier.