More NSW students will return to classroom learning from the third week of the next school term as the state government considers relaxing restrictions in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian in March said no child would be turned away from a public school in the state but urged parents to keep their kids at home if possible.
Ms Berejiklian on Thursday confirmed the first two weeks of term two in NSW would operate the same as the end of term one, but from week three “there’ll be more face-to-face contact for students”.
The first day of term two in NSW is April 27, with week three beginning on May 11.
“We’re currently going through the process of speaking to stakeholders, speaking to principals and teachers, to look at the various options and what will work for NSW,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.
“I completely support the notion that we should have more kids back at school but in a reasonable way, in an appropriate way, which means that there is adequate social distancing for the adults in particular.”
The restrictions put in place around NSW to stop the spread of coronavirus were having an impact, Ms Berejiklian said, and the government could look to offer relief in some areas.
“The first natural place for us to look at is school communities because the health advice has been consistent – school communities are safe,” she said.
Education is set to be the central focus of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s national cabinet meeting with premiers and chief ministers on Thursday.
Mr Morrison has called for increased student attendances in coming weeks while Australian deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said the national cabinet would look at making schools safe places for learning and work.
Mr Morrison said medical experts still advised that the coronavirus risk remained very low for children attending school, but added the health of teachers was a priority.