WA education sector seeks clarity ahead of border opening and new school year

WA education sector seeks clarity ahead of border opening and new school year

by Freya Lucas

January 21, 2022

Representatives from the Western Australian education community have expressed their concern, calling for clearer instructions on what will happen in schools and childcare centres if a COVID outbreak hits.


The state is due to open on Saturday 5 February, with Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson announcing on Wednesday that she was hopeful information on how schools would operate would be released by the end of the week.


Speaking with local news source WA Today Goodstart Early Learning state manager Todd Dawson said CEO Julia Davison had written to the Premier and Health and Education ministers, requesting rapid antigen tests be supplied directly to early childhood education and care services.


“Rapid antigen testing is a really important element of how we see we are going to be able to effectively manage the greater rates of community transmission,” Mr Dawson explained.


“With the borders opening, there is going to have to be a shift from stopping (the virus) to managing it. The national adoption of a classification of a close contact in an education setting and what will be required of those involved would help us further plan for an outbreak.”


WA Goodstart services plan to implement more outdoor learning along with mask-wearing requirements, improving ventilation and restricting the number of adults allowed inside services.


Community Services and Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said discussions were being held over what would happen if there was an outbreak at a childcare centre, based on six months of planning by the WA Government about “what occurs if there’s an outbreak, what safety measures can be put in place and the like.” 

To read the original coverage of this story please see here.