Learning at School – Parents and Carers Guide

In line with health advice, schools are operating full time, and many additional activities are now able to recommence.

Learning at School – Parents and Carers Guide (PDF, 7.4MB)

All schools have returned to full-time learning at school. With updated health advice and changes to state and national restrictions, schools are currently able to undertake a number of school-based activities. More activities will restart from the start of Term 3 (21 July 2020). Some activities are continuing to be considered.

The following principles underpin these guidelines:

  • Schools continue to be safe. Operations are in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and Tasmanian Health guidelines
  • There are existing infection control protocols at schools. We put in place new health and safety measures. It will help maintain the health and safety of students and staff.
  • All activities permitted at school are safe and appropriate in a living with COVID-19 environment.

School students do not need to follow strict adult physical distancing guidelines. They should follow good hygiene practices like:

  • staying home when you are sick
  • regularly washing your hands
  • avoid sharing drinks or food
  • cough or sneeze into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately

School attendance

All students should be at school unless:

  • they have medical advice which states that they are unable to return to school due to an ongoing medical condition and the expected timeframe
  • they are currently unwell.

School activities/ school site usage

Most school-based activities can restart, as long as the following measures are observed:

  • all visitors and external providers must adhere to relevant hygiene, distancing and safety protocols
  • principals may continue to restrict, limit or prohibit activities if they are seen as contrary to the current health advice
  • external providers and visitors are required to demonstrate compliance with health and safety requirements including adhering to strict guidelines and completing relevant forms

Physical distancing

Physical distancing of children in schools is not required under the Australian AHPPC guidelines. Research has shown limited transmission risk associated with school children in the school environment.

All adults must maintain physical distance from each other (1.5m) including teachers and support staff, and parents/carers.

Schools will continue to manage school pick up and drop off arrangements to help parents to physically distance from one another and from staff.

School cleaning and hygiene supplies

Your school will continue to receive extra cleaning in line with the AHPPC guidelines and advice from Tasmanian Health. Target areas include:

  • high-touch areas and other hard surfaces
  • door handles
  • lockers
  • light switches
  • handrails in stairways and movement areas.

There will also be extra cleaning of toilets and topping up of supplies like soap.

Your school has appropriate supplies of soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant wipes. The school is able to order more as needed.

School activities return and timeline

Activities/site usage that can already take place:

  • Using the school library.
  • Playing non-contact sports and non-contact training in line with established guidelines.
  • Canteens and uniform shops can open at principal’s discretion.
  • VET and work placements that are essential to the course can take place subject to appropriate risk assessment and parent/carer approval.
  • School based apprenticeships and traineeships can restart when the relevant workplaces are back in operation.
  • Trade Training Centres can operate on school sites.
  • Student wellbeing activities including breakfast club, speech and language support and school nurse program.
  • Choirs and performing arts at school, with safety protocols in place.
  • School Association meetings – with a strong preference for online where possible.
  • Students may attend other schools for essential curriculum related reasons or placements. For example auditions or placement tests.
  • Using Hydrotherapy pools.
  • External providers can provide activities that support delivery of curriculum. For example music tutors, science demonstrations, drama tutors.
  • Community use of school facilities outside of school time subject to cleaning, hygiene, venue density and physical distancing requirements.
  • School photos.
  • Department of Communities Tasmania services.

Activities/site usage that can take place from beginning of Term 3

  • All school sport and activities including competitions aligned with current health advice. It applies also to activities run by external organisations.
  • Inter-school student events and competitions (sport, debating, public speaking, performing arts)
  • School assemblies (external visitors restricted by and physical distancing requirements).
  • Parents and carers can drop off and pick up students on school grounds including classrooms. Please ensure that your time on school grounds and interactions are brief.
  • Excursions can occur with consideration to gathering restrictions, physical distancing and hygiene requirements.
  • Launching into Learning can start on the school site. Parent/carer numbers are restricted by physical distancing requirements.
  • School swimming pools can open.
  • Work experience for students (with appropriate risk assessment).
  • VET and work placements can proceed subject to the availability of placement and appropriate risk assessments.
  • Parent/teacher meetings, with a focus on physical distancing and hygiene practices.
  • Subject to principal approval, volunteers can recommence volunteering activities subject to physical distancing and hygiene practices.

Activities on hold – for review during Term 3

The following activities are on hold for the moment but will be reconsidered in Term 3:

  • School camps within Tasmania will be considered based on Tasmanian Health advice.
  • School based activities that involve large gathering of adults. These include parent/community gatherings such as:
    • parent functions
    • working bees
    • fundraisers
    • large parent information evenings.

These large gatherings will continue to be reviewed and assessed based on AHPPC and Tasmanian Health advice. They may be permitted at a later date.

Activities that are cancelled, delayed or not permitted

Certain large arts and sports events have been delayed or cancelled because they have long-lead time organisational arrangements. Please speak to your school if you would like to know more.

Interstate and international excursions are cancelled until further notice.

Reporting and assessment

Schools will not be required to produce the usual mid-year report. This is being replaced by a requirement for teachers to communicate with parents/carers by the end of July. This can be done through either a telephone or online conversation, or in writing.

Responding to COVID-19 cases

There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with Tasmanian Public Health and will communicate with parents and carers if a situation arises.