Anxious schools on alert as southern cases soar



Queensland schools are cautiously watching the second wave of coronavirus outbreaks in southern states and bracing for a future of remote learning, as anxiety heightens about potential community transmission closing schools.

The pandemic saw Queensland schools close early in term one, with a week of pupil-free days before remote learning for up to six weeks.

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said teachers and school communities were "dreading" the potential of a second wave that would hurl students into remote learning.

"We're seeing these large outbreaks in schools (in Victoria) and that's heightening parents, teachers and principals' concerns," he said.

"People have a certain sense of being resigned to the fact that it's likely the infection will break out again and are wanting to be prepared."

It's understood the Department of Education has undertaken ongoing scenario testing to ensure that they are ready for remote learning should there be another outbreak.

Education Minister Grace Grace said during lockdown that several other states and territories were using the Queensland system to teach their students.

"While it is vital that our learning@home system is ready to go at any point, it is in everyone's best interests that we don't get to the stage of needing it again," she said.

"I implore everyone to keep doing the right thing, keeping up the social distancing and the hand hygiene, so that schools can remain open and we can continue providing a world-class education for our students," Ms Grace said.

A Department of Education spokesman said the learning@home and Learning Place websites would continue to be available and two-week units of work across the English, mathematics and science curriculum areas for Prep to Year 10 students are being progressively released across the remainder of this year. "The Department continues to work closely with Queensland Health to prepare for potential COVID-19 developments."

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said independent schools have plans in place to act on any potential future health directives.

Originally published as Anxious schools on alert as southern cases soar