Teach, Learn, Live Podcast: Extraordinary – A Celebration of Collaboration

Illustration of Jamie Synnott, Tim Bullard, Gay Cumming and Brent Armitstead for the Teach Learn Live podcast

Tim Bullard: [00:00:02] Welcome to the Teach Learn Live podcast, I’m your host, Tim Bullard, Secretary of the Department of Education in Tasmania.

Tim Bullard: [00:00:10] Through this podcast, we’re going to shed some light on how we’re connecting students and young people to succeed every day in our classrooms. We’ve got teachers working hard to inspire our learners. And I see great school leaders making a real difference in many people’s lives. Join me as we get to know more great teachers, curious learners and inspiring families and communities who teach, learn and live in Tasmania.

Tim Bullard: [00:00:43] Before we start our conversation today. I would like to acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people who have been caring for and educating their children and young people here on this island for tens of thousands of years. I pay my respects to elders past and present and to all the Aboriginal community members who work in our child and family centres, our schools, our libraries and our business units. And I acknowledge our Aboriginal learners right across the state who will be the strong community members and leaders of tomorrow.

Tim Bullard: [00:01:59] Our theme for today is celebrating our response to COVID-19. Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year of uncertainty and change as the world has grappled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tim Bullard: [00:02:11] And as for nearly every industry and person in Tasmania, COVID-19 has impacted our Tasmanian public education system. It’s important that we take time to celebrate the way in which we came together across the state to ensure that our learners were safe and supported to continue in their learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

Tim Bullard: [00:02:32] We should also celebrate the growth that we’ve achieved right across our entire public education system. And in particular, I believe that we should be proud of the way we’ve worked with others to inspire and support our learners through the delivery of innovative and creative solutions to the challenges that the pandemic created. COVID-19 encouraged us to focus on what really matters in public education in Tasmania. And more than ever, we placed our learners at the centre of our decision making and relied upon our shared commitment to inspire and support all learners to succeed as connected, resilient, creative and curious thinkers.

Tim Bullard: [00:03:09] Two of our guests today, Jamie and Gay, were part of our COVID-19 response team, and Brent was right at the front line in a school.

Tim Bullard: [00:03:18] Welcome, Brent, Gay and Jamie.

Tim Bullard: [00:03:21] So like people from across the world, we had to respond very quickly to make some big decisions regarding COVID-19. Jamie, how did the department respond and what were its priorities?

Jamie Synnott: [00:03:33] Yeah, I think you’re right Tim, we did have to respond quickly. The way we did respond was putting together a team. We were fortunate in putting that team together that we were able to get people from throughout the department. So we had a lot of skills and knowledge and expertise that was brought into the team. And one of the critical aspects of that was making sure we had people that had actually worked in schools. So it really brought that insight into to what would be issues of concern in schools. We had the support of the executive and that was critical. We were meeting twice a day, so morning and afternoon. So it was really important to get that input and help with the decision making. And we were flexible in our approach. In terms of priorities, safety was really paramount and as it should be too, like we were in a situation where no one really quite knew what we were dealing with.

Jamie Synnott: [00:04:37] We had to be focused on the safety of our staff and students. And we were really guided by public health. But not far behind that was the continuity in education provision for our students. That’s what we’re all here for. So that was certainly a priority for us. Wellbeing of our students and staff. we really had that at the forefront of our thinking. And probably the last one was, was communication. One of the lessons we learnt and luckily enough, we got this pretty right, I think from the start to was we just had multiple communication channels. And not just for our staff to be able to access to, but also for our parents and carers and school communities, too.

Jamie Synnott: [00:05:30] So we’re trying to get the balance there around internal and external. So that was really critical. And a subset of that communication was we provided a lot of resources and developed a lot of resources for schools and our parents and carers to guide how we were responding to the situation that we found ourselves in through covid-19.

Tim Bullard: [00:05:49] Gay, as we went through the process of preparing, it became very clear toward the end of term one that we were going to need to move some of our teaching and learning offsite. And so we started to design learning at home. What was the biggest challenge with learning at home and how did we overcome it?

Gay Cumming: [00:06:09] Well, I think Jamie’s touched on communication being really important. And I think another element was collaboration. Collaboration of people across our whole department and of course, within schools. It was a really challenging time for schools. And the best way that we could support our teachers and leaders in schools was to provide them with the information and then the supports that they were going to be needing. Acknowledging that they also know their families and their children really well and what was going to suit their context. Whether it would be packages of learning that were delivered to home, sometimes on school buses, or whether it was delivered online. And the online delivery of learning was was really challenging for teachers. It was new, and it really was a kickstart for people to try things that they may not have done before. I know that it was really important that our department gave four days of professional learning for people in schools to sit back, take a breath and do some professional learning that was going to help them feel more confident to start term two with delivering learning online or in a new way. And behind the scenes were people working really hard to develop their own knowledge of technology, as well as being able to then deliver out that professional learning to teachers and people in schools. I think early on in the process, we were offering beginner Canvas sessions for teachers and the limit for people was 250 and it topped out and there were people missing out on getting in. And and so a very small group of people worked incredibly hard and late into the night or early hours of the morning to be learning how to deliver the same information to teachers through live events teams which cater for 10000. Well more than we needed. But they did that and had it up and going the next morning ready for teachers so that no one was going to miss out again.

Tim Bullard: [00:08:13] Brent, front and centre of the way that the department was working was to support schools so that they could support learners in a very, very difficult context. How did the lead up to learning at home and actually learning at home look for you and your teachers and students?

Brent Armitstead: [00:08:32] Initially, I’d have to say a lot of uncertainty, but I think when you are dealt with the challenge that schools were dealt with, I think what happens is there’s quite a bit of excitement because we’re about to lead in an area that had never been led before. There was no rule book. There was no thinking back through and looking at what’s been done in the past. So in some ways, I think it looked a little bit like the duck on the water. We’re trying to be really calm and collected above the water, but underneath the feet were paddling pretty quickly.

We had wonderful support, wonderful support from the executive and really without the clear communication coming through initially in emails, but then having Teams meeting across the board from Tim, I don’t think it would have been as successful in schools. So because we were briefed well, I think the strategy that we were able to put in place right from the start was making sure staff were aware exactly what was going on and that we could have clear communication with them. We had to make sure that we had roles and responsibilities that were clear and also different than what they were before for our leaders in school. Their roles were going to change, and we had to make sure that every individual leader of the school had a clear pathway for them to lead. So we weren’t duplicating and making sure that we’re efficient as possible. So if we look at the areas that I know that Jamie discussed about where we need to spend our time and effort, if we looked at the learning aspect first, the learning aspect for students, we needed to make sure we took the weight off parents.

Brent Armitstead: [00:09:58] One of the daunting aspects is when students were starting to learn from home, is parents thought they had to take the role of the teacher. So as a school, we made sure that all our communication went out to students and then we advised parents to have a look at the communication with their kids. But the teacher would still be driving the learning and that was a key component. And allowed students to become independent in their learning as well. So that was important.

If we look at the wellbeing side, we had a considerable amount of staff that were vulnerable. And we also knew that we had students that could become vulnerable within this period as well. So we had set processes in place to make sure that they were supported. To the extent that one of APs sole role during that time was to support teachers that were taking their lesson from home

Reviewing our online management systems in regards to how we could push our online learning with something that produced lots of options that we looked at for a period of time. As soon as were able to choose an option moving forward, what we did then is looked at every way that we communicated with staff using that as a platform as well. So what it did, it gave staff the opportunity to trial and play with the online platform in a way that worked with other staff members as well.

Brent Armitstead: [00:11:16] We had to move pretty quickly in making sure the timetable at school mirrored the timetable at home. So a few challenges around that. But obviously, we didn’t want to overload staff and they still knew where the timetable was. And students also knew what the timetable looked like. If we moved once again back into that wellbeing checkin with the staff, we we had each leader within our school had a group of staff that they were checking in with weekly just to make sure they were feeling supportive and were looking after their health through that as well.

And of course, the other thing that was so crucial and something that we relied heavily on from the COVID team, but also the executive early on was making sure we had all our processes in place to keep students and staff safe while they were at school.

Brent Armitstead: [00:12:19] The last aspect I want to talk about, which was really important, was making sure that we built fun into our week. And I think you heard this from a lot of schools where we would dress up, while we were online, we would wear silly hats. We’d make sure there were jokes as part of every meeting. So just make sure we built that into a time that could have been quite stressful for staff.

Tim Bullard: [00:12:36] I think your reflections are really great. And they actually mirror the experience that I think that the COVID team and the executive were having as well. So absolutely trying to come to terms with a new platform in teams and get up to speed as fast as we could to actually make it work at the same time as trying to connect with, initially, more people than the platform would actually accommodate. Also too, the need to be doing work differently was front and centre. And, you know, our time became taken up with thinking about things like communication and better support. But finally, I can’t reinforce enough that actually having a good laugh at times was the only way to to keep on top of what was a very challenging situation.

I’m really interested, Brent, in your reflections on the changing role of teachers. And I’ve heard you say that, you know, at that pivot point, at the end of term one, they were trying to do two things. The had students in a classroom, they had students at home. You were trying to settle on a system. You had some staff who were at home because they were vulnerable and overarching all of that was how to support learners. What are your reflections on the resilience and flexibility that was shown by your staff during that time?

Brent Armitstead: [00:13:53] Yeah, amazing resilience. But also that unwavering commitment to make sure that they wanted to support students and not one student fell through the cracks. And for that to occur, every staff member had to be on board. So that was wonderful. I think if I ever had a conversation with a teacher where they might have been upset, it was about because they were concerned that they didn’t want to let students down. So what a wonderful positive for the department. And I think that leads to I would hope that in the community now, most of our families and most the community are aware of the wonderful role that a teacher plays in the school.

There was professional learning on steroids. And I remember one of our staff members said to me that this was the best forced professional learning that they’ve ever been through. Because the need was so high. We had situations where our youngest teachers suddenly became the leaders and some of our older, experienced teachers who weren’t OK with some of our platforms for online learning became our greatest learners as well. So the ability for the staff to support each other within their teams and lift every teacher up was was amazing and something that we were really proud of.

I think we can be really proud that we’ve got strong values within that department. I think because of that professionalism that all staff showed during that time was spot on. So congratulations to the executive of what they’ve done to make sure we’re a values based department. And because of that, we’ve supported students really well.

Brent Armitstead: [00:15:17] The last thing was the ability of teachers to be innovative and make sure that they engage students in learning. Some of the innovative things that we’ve heard through the time, whether it was even a teacher dressing up or looking at engagement quizzes at the start, different ways to do roll call, all those little things that teachers did to make sure students would always connect into their classes and stay engaged in learning for the week. So important.

Tim Bullard: [00:15:43] Again, I think your reflections are fantastic in the reflections around values. So building that culture, you couldn’t have built a values-based culture within a couple of weeks. But we were really fortunate that we’d had a number of years to do that and calling on that value of courage and aspiration and growth and also respect as people got a bit frazzled, I think kept us really centred.

Tim Bullard: [00:16:12] One of the things I’ve heard from each and every one of you is around wellbeing. We knew that we had to look after staff wellbeing to ensure that they were safe and well and operating at their full potential. Student wellbeing became really important. I’ve also heard Gay refer to parent wellbeing as they tried to tackle that sort of concept of how am I going to have my children at home and hope to to build them in their learning.

Tim Bullard: [00:16:44] Brent. Ruth Davidson talked about earlier this year and the importance of the wellbeing check-in tool which gave teachers the ability to check in with students in real time while they were at home. Can you tell us a bit about how that worked for you and then what that information was used for.

Brent Armitstead: [00:17:06] Yeah, what an outstanding tool? First time really we’ve had a situation where students for their own accord being given the opportunity and chance from the classroom teacher sending something out and a quick snapshot of the wellbeing for that student. And then us having clear processes put in place to make sure we provided the support that student needed. We’ve done this when we’ve noticed in the past, but I don’t think we’ve had the data at our fingertips so, so timely and an outstanding tool and something that we continue to use. And and from that, what we did within our improvement plan, we changed that a little bit and wellbeing was within it but probably became the most important aspect of supporting students. And what we decided to do and look at is lots of things once again, to bring fun in.

For staff, it was about making sure that we had social events built into the week. So whether that was meetings on teams and then having Kahootz at the end of that, but just doing fun activities.

But our student leadership team changed their inquiry. Their inquiry was totally to do with staying connected. So every two weeks, our student leadership team, when students were home, still ran assemblies. So they broadcast out to our students. And we were getting about two hundred and fifty three hundred students at eight-thirty in the morning logging on and being a part of that assembly, which is wonderful. But that Building Connections enquiry that our student leadership team did also went into last term where they had a real focus on mental health and mental wellbeing. So they ran things like Mullet’s for mental health One day, RUOK day was another one, beyond blue and wearing blue. So that was really powerful to the extent that in everything around Loved and Save in our wellbeing survey. I just had a look at that yesterday, and what it demonstrates and shows we’ve had improvements in every aspect of Loved and Safe. And it’s great that we have a system goal for wellbeing and I’ll bring that to the forefront.

Tim Bullard: [00:19:34] I think it’s really interesting, actually, that assumptions made about how children and young people fared through COVID haven’t necessarily played out in the child and student wellbeing data that we’ve got back. And one thing that I actually found amazing was that engagement with teachers had increased from last year, which I think is an absolute testament to the work of teachers and school leadership teams in the wellbeing space.

Tim Bullard: [00:19:59] Gay, I might just turn to you around wellbeing. You designed a lot of materials for learning at home, for the Learning at Home website. What were you thinking about in terms of parents being able to engage with that and keeping their sanity whilst they were delivering learning to students?

Gay Cumming: [00:20:17] The team that developed the learning at home packages really thought about taking that pressure off parents, as Brent referred to earlier. That they’re not the educators that they’re there to support. And a lot of that content of the learning was around things that they could do at home. Cooking, going out into the garden. It wasn’t necessarily a sit at home and get out pen and paper and follow things along that may have been the case for the memories of parents. It was really about, let’s think about talking and playing and reading and build in the exercise and the conversation as part of our learning. And so there was a real focus on that inquiry and play within the learning at home packages that were available for families. And I think families really appreciated that and have also developed through those packages, but also through the work and the learning that each school provided. They’ve got a really good understanding, I think, of what teachers do for their students to look after them individually and collectively, wellbeing and learning wise.

Tim Bullard: [00:21:57] Jamie, moving to you, you mentioned in your opening the importance of the wellbeing of our staff generally right across the agency. What do you think we learnt from the experience about looking after the wellbeing and safety of staff?

Jamie Synnott: [00:22:12] One of the most important things that you can be doing as an employer and as a leader. Is really being focused on the wellbeing of your staff and also yourself, because it is such an individual thing, wellbeing. And we’re all individuals and we all respond and react in different ways and have different needs. So it’s interesting listening to Brent talk about some of the things that he did in his school, too. And I think really just having that positive mindset, but also being focused on providing information to people like in times of uncertainty. One of the best things we could do was provide information and primarily that went to our leaders. But we also had that cascading out into to our employees as well. But also provide them with opportunities to ask questions and to have responses to those questions, too. And that was was really critical.

So I think, you know, moving forward, that’s certainly a learning there, too, is whatever communication mediums we can use to access our staff and ideally at an individual level and provide them opportunities to have their wellbeing addressed in that manner, I think is certainly important, perhaps sort of just within the team that I worked in, bearing in mind that we all came from different areas in the organisation and we were thrown together pretty quickly, and we had some people coming in and coming out, depending on certain circumstances. I sort of fell back into the tried and traditional method of lollies and chocolate. And that seemed to have the effect, you know, and we actually use that as a bit of a way to engage with other people working in other areas in our work environment. So small things can be big things. But it gave you a bit of a hook in to engage with them because it certainly was a collective effort around wellbeing.

Jamie Synnott: [00:24:14] But moving forward with wellbeing too. I think we can really target wellbeing supports that meet individual needs, which can be challenging, but certainly something we can focus on and really work with our leadership group throughout the organisation. So that’s including, you know, people in leadership positions in schools, but also in people in leadership positions throughout the department, too. And develop their skills and understanding and wellbeing. Because if we’ve got leaders that are really focused on their own wellbeing and have got the tools to support their team members wellbeing, then I think we’re going to be able to deliver even better outcomes for our learners.

Tim Bullard: [00:25:09] That brings me to the role of collaboration and being one team. And I think throughout this process, my personal reflection would be that that feeling of being in a team and being in a team of effectively ten and a half thousand people across the agency was what got me and the executive through. And Brent you’ve spoken around the importance of the executive’s communication to principals, but those regular three times a week catch up on teams were also an opportunity for us to feel that we were part of a bigger team all working for the same cause. And the support that we got and information we got through those forums were absolutely invaluable. We quickly realised we needed to use technology to actually have a two-way conversation about where we were, what was going to happen, what we wanted to happen next, and then the feedback from how that was going on the ground. 

Tim Bullard: [00:26:11] Gay, what do you think that we learned from that rapid adoption of technology during the period? As challenging as it was for some people like me? And how do you think that’s going to influence the way that we work as a department, in the future, but also as the way that we support our learners?

Gay Cumming: [00:26:26] Yeah, it was certainly a huge shift. And as far as the department and for people delivering professional learning, it’s really changed things in that we don’t have to be in the same geographical area or in the same room to be reaching out and sharing information with people. We can be doing it any time, anywhere. And I think that allows us to be more adaptable for the needs of schools. And so rather than having people come out to event-based professional learning, we can be offering things to schools at a time that might suit them, which might be straight after school for shorter periods of time, and come back and tap into that learning more regularly. Thinking that would be suitable for schools down the track, that that’s a way we can deliver our professional learning. I think as far as within school and Brent will be able to add to this, I’m sure, and has already talked about the flexibility of his staff. Teachers have just been able to take up new learning and change the way that they deliver learning opportunities to students in an incredible way.

[00:27:36] And I think it’s gone more from just using the technology as a tool, but to looking at ways that the technology can enhance the learning and provide students with opportunities to not just engage in different ways, but actually to use and apply their learning in new ways and be creative. And teachers are incredibly creative themselves. And so the way that they are now using technology, I think has continued on since those early times of April and May this year. And also, I think with connecting with families is another way that we can continue to bring in the communication methods and platforms that we were using through that time and allow families to have a way of viewing what their children are doing more frequently than perhaps a two time a year report or a set time of parent-teacher interview. That this can be a way of supporting ongoing assessment and reporting to parents and communicating with parents. I think many schools are already on that pathway and it’s an exciting time for our department.

Tim Bullard: [00:28:43] Brent, what are your reflections around technology and how it’s changed both the way that we collaborate and also the way that we teach in regards to the way we teach?

Brent Armitstead: [00:28:53] Learning can happen at any time now? I think it opens up a lot of questions about that state, about learning and at the time. So what will that look like into the future? I think we’re just touching the surface of that.

Some of our students were more successful in regards to going deeper with their learning and the quality of learning while they were at home than at school. So with that with us, lots of questions about that. With students like some of the kids, that is a better environment for them. So that’s once again, an interesting conversation for us to continue to have as a system to see what we might need to put in place.

The IT skills of students and teachers have gone through the roof and something that was needed. I’ll go back to that forced PL because of the need, but I think we’ll all be able to tick off on regards to improving our students IT skills this year, that’s for sure.

Brent Armitstead: [00:30:08] But I’d say the biggest thing that I’ve been able to grab on to is I don’t think that we’re able to bring the school into the community as well as what we can now. So we were having people join our assemblies that have never been able to come to an assembly before because we’re able to stream that out to the wider community. Will be looking at that for our presentation day at the end of the year. So it has opened up lots of doors.

Tim Bullard: [00:30:59] Absolutely. And I’ve seen some absolutely fantastic examples of skyping or zooming or broadcasting events and assemblies and presentations, even from classes, which can then be shared by grandparents and aunts and uncles right around Australia. So in terms of sort of closing that gap of separation that I know that many of our families have felt from loved ones in other places, it’s been such a powerful way of working.

Tim Bullard: [00:31:26] Obviously part of COVID is what does it mean for our future? And I’m really interested in hearing the positives that have come out of today’s discussion. And I know there are many more. But the challenge, I think as an agency that we face now is, what are we going to do next? So, for each and every one of you, I’m just really interested to think about the good, the bad and the ugly. What do we really need to be concentrating on as a department that we keep? But also what are the some of the things which maybe we might want to stop or which aren’t so important anymore? Brent maybe I’ll start with you.

Brent Armitstead: [00:32:01] Just to go on a little bit of a different lens. So within our improvement plan, one of the aspects that we’ve been working on for a period of time is the guarantee guaranteed by the curriculum. So we wanted to make sure that in every curriculum area we concentrate what they needs/knows were. We knew that students weren’t going to always to be able to be connected. So it’s even more important for us to go deeper with the learning and concentrate not on quantity, but the quality of the work. And I think also in the online environment, we’re able to give explicit feedback for students to move them forward, where the quality of the work did improve in lots of areas. I think is a really good learning for us there. So I’d say that was a wonderful positive and something we’ve continued on as students returned to school. So now we concentrate on the needs/knows  spend all our time making sure the quality of students work is as high as it can be.

Tim Bullard: [00:33:06] Gay

Gay Cumming: [00:33:06] That really excites me to hear that. And I think in my role and with my colleagues from curriculum in the Professional Learning Institute, that’s the area that we want to keep going. That we help teachers and leaders in schools to really refine what is important in this, you know, essentially in our curriculum to teach, to hone in on the achievement standards of the curriculum and also to look at the the pedagogy of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it really. And make sure that everything we do really is meaningful. And I think COVID has been a kickstart in that direction. And that’s that’s great.

Gay Cumming: [00:33:42] And I also think one of the great things about covid was that it gave people a purpose, a shared purpose right across our department and within schools. And that collaboration took on a whole new level of understanding that we wanted to contribute and help each other. And Brent, you talked about your early career teachers helping your more experienced teachers. And I think that’s just a fabulous example of how everyone was in there helping each other. And I don’t want to lose that.

So what drives that sometimes might be something that is unprecedented, but how do we keep hold of that? Is the question I have. How do we keep that momentum going and to continue to be courageous? And sometimes that means stepping into the unknown and not knowing how it’s going to turn out, but being prepared to accept that along the way we may have to change paths a little or check things. But I think that courage is really critical as well. And I think that comes from the leadership and the executive. And that’s been a real bonus, I think, from this year.

Tim Bullard: [00:34:45] I just want to reflect back on that, because I think that courage came right from everyone across the agency, not just the executive. Because there was a trust that we were going to try something. And if it didn’t work, we were going to try something else. So I feel that one of the things that we can take is that idea of just trying – test, try and learn and adapt and then go back through that cycle. And I can see that we’re going to really start to speed up some of the implementation of some of the things that we’ve got in train. Jamie.

Jamie Synnott: [00:35:31] Yeah, thanks, Tim. I just I just will pick up on that collaboration theme a bit too, and maybe just add a little bit of a different perspective to it. Is that the actual willingness of people, wherever they were throughout the department to actually be involved. And one of the observations was, is I guess we know this, you know, from a research perspective is when people have got a common purpose, it’s easy to commit to it and to actually see yourself in it. And it didn’t really matter whether you’re in facilities, organising hand sanitiser or in finance, organising refunds for parents. Everyone was investing in what was the best thing for students. And people that were front and centre in what we’re actually trying to do. So that’s also a bit of a challenge for us is to adopt that model when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic.

Jamie Synnott: [00:36:33] And the other thing. That’s that level of risk tolerance and and it being okay that it’s not exactly fit for purpose when you get out, provided you can respond and adapt. And we did that on a regular basis.

Also touched on communication, too. And that’s a bit of a theme sort of running through this. And it’s great to hear, Brent, you know, talking about being able to live stream assemblies and, you know, the different ways, and Gays talked about connecting the parents and carers and that too, that have potentially always been there, certainly in recent times, too. But we sort of we needed to go down that space. And it’s the same it’s the same with, you know, whether it be the teams meetings or, you know, a different intranet site or whatever, we’ve actually used that we certainly harness those changes to to maximize the benefit too. And I think if we can move forward with that approach, then we can be meeting a lot more employees and students needs in the future.

Tim Bullard: [00:37:35] That’s absolutely fantastic. And I suppose one of my closing reflections, which has also been a through-theme, is the importance of wellbeing. So we’ve always had a child and student wellbeing strategy, or for a number of years, in place. But it became very clear when those students were going to move outside the school gate and we couldn’t actually see them, that we needed to be thinking differently about how we were supporting not only the students, but their families to be able to engage in learning. So that’s one of, I suppose, my take-outs, which I think is really exciting. And that will progress with.

Tim Bullard: [00:38:06] I’d just like to thank each of you for your contribution today. I think it’s been a fantastic contribution. In closing, I would just like to acknowledge students, parents, carers, communities, but most importantly, all of our staff who have supported learners through the department’s response to covid-19. And even though it was trying at times, I just feel that there’s so much positive that we can take forward to ensure that we are absolutely supporting every learner every day. So thank you very much.

Tim Bullard: [00:38:45] I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast to hear more about those people who teach, learn and live in Tasmania. Join us at www.education.tas.gov.au/podcast. Or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Why not subscribe so that you can keep up to date with what we’re doing? Or if you have a story about an inspiring teacher or student. Email us at teachlearnlive@education.tas.gov.au.