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ACT schools may have to resort to remote learning in term 2 as educators brace for staff shortages due to winter illnesses and the nationwide teacher shortage. Source: Canberra Times. 

Schools will likely need to combine or split classes to cope with high levels of absences, which could be exacerbated by an expected increase in COVID cases.

Catholic Education director for Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese Ross Fox said remote learning remained an option for schools if all other strategies had been exhausted.

“We wouldn’t anticipate it being likely or nor widespread nor prolonged, but it is a real option for us where there are significant illnesses,” Mr Fox said.

Principals and executive teachers might have to cover for absent teachers in the classroom and professional learning may have to be rescheduled, Mr Fox said.

“Our priority is to ensure really great learning. 

“We’ll adjust school operations and priorities to ensure that we’re obviously caring for every student and then as far as possible continuing our planned program, both educational and extracurricular.”

He said more than three-quarters of Catholic school staff in the archdiocese had taken up the annual flu vaccination program.

Catholic schools have hired more permanent staff to help cover absences considering the low availability of casuals.

Association of Independent Schools of the ACT executive director Andrew Wrigley said schools were well-prepared for staffing challenges and had not ruled out going to remote learning.

At the end of term 1, ACT education directorate director-general Katy Haire wrote to families warning schools may need to modify programs in response to higher levels of illness and the ongoing national teacher shortage.


Canberra schools could use remote learning amid Term 2 staff shortages (By Sarah Lansdown, Canberra Times)