NSW sets return to school date
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that students in the state will start returning to school, albeit only for one day a week, from May 11. That is the third week of term two.
"Initially, it will just be a day a week. And then, progressively, two days. And then we hope by the end of term two we'll be in a position to have students going back to school in a full-time capacity, by term three," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Will it be the same as kids going to school under normal circumstances? No, it won't.
"We've made sure we have used this time not just to build up our online capacity, in case children - or a proportion of them - need to continue learning from home, but we've also made sure we have enough hand sanitiser, soap, and all those things which make a school community feel safe, not just be safe.
"Schools will also have capacity for temperature checks where they think it's appropriate. There will also be extra cleaning of playground equipment and other things during the day.
"This is really to ensure that not only are our school communities safe, but everybody feels safe within them, whether you're a parent, student or of course our teachers."
Ms Berejiklian thanked the state's parents, teachers and principals for "taking on board" the government's advice under difficult circumstances.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell added more detail, saying individual schools would have "flexibility and discretion" while managing the gradual return of students.
"We want them to make sure they are having about a quarter of students on campus each day, but how they break that group up will be a matter for them," Ms Mitchell said.
"But we are asking them to certainly consider family groupings, keeping siblings together, so that will make it a lot easier for parents as we transition back to normal schooling.
"We will have extra cleaning, extra sanitiser, extra health provisions, including forehead thermometers and also extra health equipment in our sick bays.
"We will also be asking parents to stagger drop-off and pick-up times, and recess and lunch breaks within our schools.
"We think these important measures are in line with health advice.