Labor MPs call for clarity on students’ return to school

Labor MPs David Harris, Liesl Tesch and David Mehan

Central Coast Labor MPs are calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to clarify the health advice guiding the Government’s plan to get students back to school.

The Premier has not yet guaranteed that all Year 12 students will return to face-to-face learning on August 16.

“Parents need clarity on the roadmap for students to return to face-to-face learning across the Central Coast, and that this will take place in a safe and secure manner,” MPs Liesl Tesch (Gosford), David Harris (Wyong) and David Mehan (The Entrance) said in a joint statement.

“Many students travel across the region to attend school and ensuring the safe mobility of these students is crucial to safeguarding students and the community, along with giving the Central Coast the best possible opportunity to exit lockdown.”

Harris, who is also Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, said clearer advice was needed.

“Given the current situation with the Delta strain in Queensland schools, any return for our schools can’t proceed without solid guarantees that our students and teachers are not at risk,” Harris said.

Tesch said the Premier must show leadership to protect the health and mental well-being of HSC students, staff and families.

“I commend the work that is being done at every school across the Central Coast to best support all students, accommodating the forever changing information being provided by the Premier,” she said.

Mehan said an obsession with student return has undermined community healthcare.

“There are better ways to assess student achievement than forcing a premature return to face-to-face learning,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Independent Education Union of Australia said before any schools in Greater Sydney and the Hunter area open for face-to-face teaching, all teachers and support staff in both primary and secondary schools, as well as early childhood settings, must be prioritised for vaccination.

Terry Collins

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