Schools and childcare

Last Updated: 08 Apr 2020 2:30pm

Where to find information

The Department of Education website and Facebook page are being updated regularly with alerts and advice for schools, libraries and child and family centres.

For school related COVID-19 information you can also contact the Department of Education on 1800 816 057 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Term 2 plan (as at 6 April 2020)

The intention is to continue operating in mixed and online modes:

 Tasmanian Government SchoolsCatholic EducationIndependent Schools
6-9 AprilProfessional Learning (Student free)Professional Learning (Student free)Last week of Term 1
Monday 27 AprilProfessional Learning (Student free)Term 2 commencesTerm 2 commences
Tuesday 28 AprilTerm 2 underway for all schools

Enquiries

Tasmanian Government schools

Tasmanian Government school students will finish for the Easter break on Friday 3 April.

Teachers will stay at school between 6-9 April to undertake professional learning and prepare at-home learning materials for Term 2.

Term 2 will now commence on Tuesday 28th April for students. Monday 27th April will be a student-free teacher preparation day for school staff to allow them to adapt their planning to whatever the current COVID 19 situation may be at that time.

The intention for Term 2 is for students to continue to learn at home where possible, with teachers leading this learning.

Each week, teachers will provide an overview to parents of what the student’s days should entail and will provide activities to support their learning. These activities will align with the current Australian Curriculum and may be online, offline or a combination of both. Teachers will be in regular contact with students.

Government schools will still remain open for those students who are unable to be supported/supervised at home.

This situation will be regularly reviewed based on Public Health advice and updates.

See this media release for more information.

School closures

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has considered school closures and recommended schools remain open. The Committee’s advice is that pre-emptive closures are not likely to be proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.

Globally, nearly all children who have been known to be infected with COVID-19 have had mild illness.

Closing schools may inadvertently place older people at increased risk (if they are caring for children on behalf of parents), would make it harder to maintain social distancing measures among children and young people, and would have a major impact on the health workforce.

Our response to COVID-19 is likely to continue for six or more months. Closing schools for six months is not feasible or warranted given what we currently know.

Individual, short-term school closures may be considered if there is a surge of illness in localised areas.

The Tasmanian Government has committed to re-open schools at the end of the school break, subject to the advice of the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee.

More information is available in this letter.

Should I send my child to school

Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home. No penalties will be applied for students not attending school, and parents should advise their school if their child is learning from home.

Government schools will remain open for those who are unable to provide care for their children due to work commitments, or if they are unable to support their child's learning at home.

Where possible, Government schools will begin to provide resources for learning at home for their students. Ideas for parents to support their child’s learning is available on the Department of Education Learning at Home page.

Children should not attend school or childcare if:

  • they are unwell with fever OR acute respiratory illness (eg cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)
  • they meet the criteria for self-isolation.

Cancellation of school gatherings

The Tasmanian Government has introduced precautionary measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 in schools. Schools have adopted social distancing measures, including the cancellation of:

  • assemblies and presentation nights
  • excursions
  • travel
  • fetes and fairs
  • concerts (with audiences)
  • all sports carnivals
  • school camps (both local and interstate)
  • face-to-face parent teacher meetings.

These restrictions will be in place until further notice.

Education levy relief

Government School levies for 2020 will be reimbursed. Many of the activities that are funded by school levies are no longer occurring at this stage.

Parents and carers do not need to contact their children’s school, as the process will be managed centrally, and the Department of Education will be putting in place processes to have refunds made within 8 weeks.

If levy payments have not yet been made by parents and carers they will not be required to do so.

What vacation care services are available for 6-9 April and Easter Holidays 2020

Available vacation care services can be found on the Starting Blocks or Child Care Finder websites.

Parents and carers need to be aware that in these uncertain times, services are adapting their schedules to address enrolment and staffing matters. Therefore, services may be different to previous practice. Web-based information will be updated regularly.

Parents and carers should make contact directly with the service to arrange enrolments for their children, fee payments and to clarify current information eg cancellation polices.

Alternatively, parents and carers can contact Government schools who may be able to assist with information about services being offered close to, or at the school.

Childcare fees

The Australian Government has announced major changes to support education and care services to remain open.

Services that remain open will now receive a weekly payment to ensure they can deliver early childhood education and care to families who need it. Families will not incur any cost.  This will also mean that families can still keep their child enrolled at childcare whether they attend or not.  If they do not attend due to COVID-19 they will retain their place at no cost.

The aim is to support services to remain open to ensure that quality education and care continues to be available to support essential workers and vulnerable children.

All services are working through these changes and will be in contact with  families.

This change will apply retrospectively from 23 March 2020 and will continue until 30 June 2020.

See the media release for more details.

Resources