27 Mar 2020
25 March 2020 3.30pm
Pupil free days from 24 March 2020 until school holidays
The ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood announced that from Tuesday 24 March 2020 all ACT Public Schools will go pupil free until the school holidays, due to begin on Friday 10 April 2020.
ACT schools will remain open to students who need to attend. Schools will still be able to safely receive and provide learning for parents and carers engaged in essential services and unable to care for their children at home, as well as vulnerable children and those with additional needs. Essential service includes health workers, education workers, aged care workers and critical public service workers.
No child will be turned away.
This also applies to ACT Government preschools. All other early childhood services, such as long day care, family day care, out of school hours care and vacation care continue to operate.
ACT Public Schools are preparing to transition to an essential service capacity and going pupil free will support us to adjust to new ways of delivering education to your child. This will include developing alternative methods of delivering education for our children. Teachers are focussed on developing resources and supports for children to access online and home-based learning.
If your child is unwell, do not send them to school.
School holidays will commence as scheduled on Friday 10 April and updates will continue to be provided before the start of Term 2.
You can find updated Frequently Asked Questions on our website.
We are ensuring that we have arrangement in place to meet the needs of our vulnerable students and families. We will continue to work with government and community agencies to make sure we offer the best support for all children in Canberra.
If Covid-19 affects ACT Schools
The response in schools will be based on ACT Health Directorate advice and learnings from other jurisdictions. If your child is unwell, don’t send them to school. Follow the direction of ACT Health.
At this point in time, the best way to minimise any transmission of the coronavirus is for students to continue with good hand and respiratory hygiene measures to prevent the spread of germs.
Schools are focused on maintaining the best possible hygiene standards to staff and students. We have revised our approach to cleaning in ACT Government Schools, with a greater focus of cleaning areas of higher risk.
Continuing student learning
It is important we can provide as much continuity as possible for our children’s education, no matter what the circumstances. Relationships are key to education and we want to support our students to remain connected to their current teachers wherever possible.
All ACT Public Schools have been preparing to transition to alternative methods of delivering education for our children.
We have been designing age and ability-appropriate access to learning materials from home and increased use of online learning platforms to support students, parents and teachers.
Today the Education Directorate will release a resource library to support parents and children with home learning. This is available to all parents, including for non-government schools and home-schooling parents.
ACT Public Schools are among the best in the country and we are absolutely committed to ensuring your child continues to receive a high-quality education during this time. We thank you for your flexibility in responding to what is a rapidly changing environment.
The wellbeing of our students and their families is important. The Education Directorate has also compiled a range of useful wellbeing resources for students and families.