Premier on notice over HSC return

Federation has advised members that it will consider all options available to protect the health and safety of teachers, students and our school communities should the Premier fail to heed the evidence and proceed with the announced return to facetoface teaching of year 12 on 16 August.

A special meeting of all principals and Federation Representatives at high schools in the greater Sydney area has been called for this Friday, 6 August, at 1pm.

President Angelo Gavrielatos said the Premier’s decision represented a staggering disregard for the teaching service and the school communities we serve.

This announcement, made through the media and without any prior consultation with the profession, highlights the Government’s disrespect for the work of teachers and principals and the complex operations of schools,” he said.

Most importantly, this political announcement defies health advice. The advice of the Chief Health Officer could not be clearer; worksites and human interaction are the main contributors in the transmission of this dangerous strain of COVID-19. Schools are worksites and human interaction is our business.

A special Executive meeting of Federation on 10 August will decide on further action in relation to this matter.

Mr Gavrielatos said that while the return of year 12 might represent an aspirational target for the Government, the “national emergency” of high case numbers, including those circulating in the community while infectious, and tightening restrictions, cannot be ignored.

You are rightly outraged by last Wednesday’s announcement,” he said. Federation has made this clear to the Government in the strongest terms.

We continue to call on the Government for consistency in the application of health advice and restrictions across ALL settings, including schools, in affected areas.

We continue to call for the prioritisation of ALL teachers in the ongoing vaccination roll out.

We have called on the Government to reassess its premature political announcement regarding the return of face-to-face teaching and learning. Any announcement on the return to face-to-face teaching and learning must be the subject of prior consultation with the profession and based on current health advice.

Advice will continue to be updated and shared with you as soon as it becomes available. For further information and Federation’s latest advice, please refer to the COVID FAQ pages on our website.