Lockdown extension: What's happening with Victoria's schools?

Victoria’s schools and childcare centres are set to begin re-opening within weeks as part of the state’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews outlined the Victoria’s roadmap on Sunday which included plans for prep or kindergarten students through to Year 12.

The government is confident the plan will allow students to fulfil their learning requirements for 2020 and they won’t have to repeat their year level in 2021.

Under the plan, Metro Melbourne students will have to continue remote learning until at least September 28.

Police officers and soldiers patrol a popular running track in Melbourne.
Police officers patrol a walking track in Melbourne. Source: Getty Images

On September 28, staged returns will commence for onsite learning from prep to Year 2, and students studying for their VCE and VCALs for term four. This includes childcare and specialist schools.

However, the plan hinges on public health advice with Metro Melbourne needing to hit a maximum 30-50 new cases of coronavirus daily between September 14-28.

Based on public health advice, Years 3 to 10 will return to the classroom slowly from October 26 in Metro Melbourne. This relies on average daily cases being fewer than five new cases statewide, and less than five total cases from unknown sources over the previous 14 days.

Mr Andrews would not be drawn on Sunday about the likelihood Melbourne students from Year 3 to Year 10 won’t return to the classroom this year.

In regional Victoria, staged returns for all students with safety measures in place will occur from September 13.

“Regional Victoria will see the school year pretty much at the beginning of term four unfold as it normally would,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

Two kids in uniform walk up a staircase.
Victoria's students will begin going back to school within a week. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

Education Minister James Merlino said Victorians shouldn’t be concerned about students from prep to Year 11 missing school.

“We have time to address health, well-being, mental health, we have time to address catch up learning,” he said.

The minister said he’s also confident Year 12 students sitting their General Achievement Test on October 7 will be able to do so.

"We have had strong engagement with the public health team to make sure we can deliver not only the GAT but also examinations later this year in a COVID-safe way,” Mr Merlino said.

"VCE exams will conclude on December 2, students will get their VCE scores and ATAR at no disadvantage whatsoever with students right across the country, so that has been our absolute focus."

Mr Andrews said the state “can’t run out of lockdown”.

“We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown. To find that COVID normal.

“We must take steady and safe steps to find COVID normal and make sure that in opening up we can stay open.”

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