Executive Director's Update to Principals #56: COVID Update - 21 Aug 2021
A Prayer for Uncertain Times
God of infinite mercy, hear our prayer!
In the midst of our own anxiety we ask you to give us the courage to support one another as you would. For those who are unexpectedly unemployed, for employers who share what they can, for our government and financial institutions and those who lead them,
In the midst of our struggle to ensure a healthy future for all who live on this planet, we ask you to give us the hope that surpasses our current understanding. For healthcare workers, spiritual leaders and our faith communities, for artists and poets, for prophets and teachers,
In the midst of our growing awareness that all life on Earth is connected, we ask for the heart to respect and cherish all life. That all peoples recognise that we are all your children,
We trust in you and your power working in us. Please hear and answer our prayers.
Continuation of remote and flexible learning and authorised worker permits
Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, schools in regional Victoria will return to remote and flexible learning and teaching from Monday 23 August.
Schools are advised that the requirements for metropolitan Melbourne, as outlined on pages 4-7 of the current School Operations Guide in relation to the following, will apply to regional Victoria:
- on-site supervision
- authorised worker permits as of 11.59pm on Monday 23 August
Schools are not expected to pivot to remote learning immediately and may need Monday to prepare for this. This preparation day will be at each school’s discretion; however principals may wish to consult with their colleagues within their local area to devise a common approach.
Authorised worker permits
Authorised worker permits will be required to leave the house for authorised work from 11.59pm Monday 23 August. Permits will be available on the Coronavirus Victoria website before these requirements come into effect.
Principals are able to authorise permits for all their staff and Education Consultants will authorise for principals. Further advice on the operation of this scheme will be provided when it becomes available.
On-site supervision – additional point to note
Please note on pages 4-5 of the current School Operations Guide that schools have discretion in identifying students who fall under Category B, as highlighted in teal below:
Children where both parents and or carers are considered authorised workers who cannot work from home, work for an essential provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made:
- Where there are two parents/carers, both must be essential workers, working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
- For single parents/ carers, the essential worker must be working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
Children experiencing vulnerability, including:
- in out-of-home care
- deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home
- identified by a school or early childhood service as vulnerable, (including via referral from a government agency, or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
Where a parent/carer indicates that a student with a disability is vulnerable because they cannot learn from home, and/or informs the school the student is vulnerable due to family stress, the school must provide on-site supervision for that student. This may apply to students enrolled in specialist schools and students with a disability enrolled in mainstream schools.
Face masks will still be mandatory outdoors and indoors (not at home) unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces and secondary schools.
Victoria’s public health team are strongly recommending that primary school aged children wear a face mask as an extra precaution when they are not at home, unless an exception applies.
CEB will place an order for additional face masks as a priority. We anticipate these will be received by the time on-site learning has resumed.
Closure of playgrounds and other facilities
Playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment will close in regional Victoria.
Next COVID Update
We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Stay safe and continue to look after each other…
Education Consultant: Secondary Schools