Diocese rejects school roster plan

Greg Whitby (Catholic Outlook)

The head of Catholic Education in the Parramatta Diocese has rejected New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s advice for a staggered return to school across the state. Source: Daily Telegraph.

By Carla Mascarenhas, Daily Telegraph

Earlier this week Ms Berejiklian confirmed face-to-face schooling would gradually resume from May 11 – week three of term two.

“Initially it will be just a day a week and then progressively two days and then we hope by the end of term two we will be in a position to have students going back to school in a full-time capacity by term three,” she said.

Students would attend on a roster system.

NSW Department of Education secretary Mark Scott described it as a “hybrid model” that will allow for appropriate distancing in schools while giving students and teachers a more normal learning setting.

But Greg Whitby, chief executive of Catholic Education Parramatta said while he “understood the Premier’s reasons” Catholic schools in his diocese would not be following a roster system.

“The problem with the structured return is there is no one size fits all,” he said.

He said there were a lot of complexities that parents were juggling such as having children at multiple schools.

Mr Whitby said Catholic schools were not bound by the Premier’s directive and each individual principal would be left to make their own response after consulting with their school communities.

Meanwhile, the head of Catholic Education Western Australia has hit back at accusations by state WA Premier Mark McGowan that parents are entitled to demand a discount on school fees because their approach to Term 2 ignores the latest health advice on coronavirus.

Mr McGowan yesterday said that Catholic and independent schools that have said they will offer online learning instead of face-to-face teaching for most pupils when school resumes next week had made a decision that was different to health advice.

Catholic Education WA executive director Debra Sayce insisted its schools were acting “in full accordance” with national principles for school education set out by the National Cabinet last week, including health advice.

Catholic schools will provide face-to-face lessons for Year 11 and 12 students only, while those from kindergarten to Year 10 will do lessons through an interactive digital learning platform for the first three weeks of term.


Parramatta diocese Catholic schools reject premier’s ‘one size fits all’ return to school (Daily Telegraph

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