The principals of some Victorian Catholic schools have rejected the Morrison Government's multibillion-dollar bid to encourage non-government schools to reopen classrooms. Source: The Age.
By Adam Carey and Michael Fowler, The Age
Edmund Rice Education Australia – which runs St Kevin’s College, St Patrick’s College, St Bernard’s College and Parade College – said it supported the advice and the guidance of the Victorian Government “and will only return to on-campus learning for its Victorian schools when it is determined safe to do so by the Victorian Chief Medical Officer”.
That view is supported by many others in Victoria's non-government schools sector, who have expressed frustration at differences between federal and state government advice over when to end remote learning.
Victoria and Tasmania remain the only states not to have outlined plans to return to classroom teaching in term two.
Principals and administrators at Edmund Rice, a network of 54 schools including eight based in Victoria, have agreed to take a pay cut of up to 20 per cent for the duration of term two and redirect the money to struggling families at the school.
The federal Government is offering non-government schools $3 billion to get students back to class but principals say they're under pressure - forced to choose which advice to follow.
The Government has given non-government schools a Friday deadline to commit to reopening classrooms by the end of May in exchange for a 25 per cent advance on next year’s funding. It means schools must choose between joining the federal push to reopen schools as soon as possible, or waiting for Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton to give the all-clear.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said it was safe for students and teachers to return to school, based on the advice of the Commonwealth’s expert medical panel.
Victoria has committed to completing term two remotely, although Professor Sutton said this could change if evidence supports an earlier return.
In The Australian, EREA executive director Wayne Tinsey said the leadership shown by federal and state politicians, acting as the National Cabinet, working closely together over the past couple of months, had been “deeply appreciated”.
"We look forward to this bipartisan leadership continuing in the future to help get us to the other side of COVID-19, especially around the vital issue of the education of our young people,'' Dr Tinsey said.
Federal, Victorian education ministers’ class war over schools (The Australian)