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COVID-19 update from the Department for Education

20 November 2020

We received the following from the the Chief Executive of the Department for Education on 19 November 2020 at 4:50 pm.

Details for Friday 20 November

Please continue to operate a skeleton staff at all schools and preschools for the children of essential workers and vulnerable children.

Today’s attendance will help leaders plan their staffing for tomorrow. Please ensure a minimum of 2 staff onsite.

School buses will run as normal.

Details for Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 November – pupil free days

All schools, preschools and early childhood services will remain open only for children of essential workers or vulnerable children who need to attend school (this includes children in care). We expect this number to be very small like today, however no child will be turned away.

Teachers and leaders can operate a skeleton staff (please ensure a minimum of 2 staff), and are not expected to operate a formal learning program.

School and preschool teams should use this time to focus on planning for the remainder of the term, and preparing for the possibility of offering either remote or face-to-face learning. A decision on this will be made by SA Health dependent on the results of the 6 day lockdown.

School buses will run as normal.

Out of school hours care on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 November

  • OSHC services are able to provide before and after school hours care for children of essential workers and vulnerable children as per normal school days.
  • Whether an OSHC service is open to provide before and after school care is a business decision, but we would encourage them to stay open.
  • Families can find information about OSHC services at the website https://www.startingblocks.gov.au/find-child-care/
  • Advice about Child Care Subsidy arrangements will be provided to OSHC services in separate communications from the Australian Government.
  • A small number of schools had pupil free days pre-arranged during this period. Schools should speak with their OSHC provider to confirm whether that provider will still offer full day service.

Wednesday 25 November

The department will provide further details about the operation of schools from Wednesday 25 November in the next day or so. We’re waiting on advice from the Chief Public Health Officer and the Police Commissioner.

Supporting students completing Stage 1

We are aware that the current restrictions may impact on some year 11 students and their ability to complete Stage 1 assessment tasks.

The SACE board is also aware of these difficulties and together we are working to ensure our year 11 students can complete their SACE.

Please provide particular support to any year 12 students who still have any outstanding Stage 1 credits to complete.

Providing reassurance to our students and their families is of high priority and we will continue to keep you updated as we work through the solution.

Face masks

Face masks have been dispatched to every department site, and are for staff use.

Toll Couriers will need a staff member to sign for the delivery.

Face masks remain strongly encouraged for now when outside the home, but they are not mandatory.

We recommend that these are used when travelling to and from work at a minimum. We will be getting advice on how and when to use masks in schools and preschools from SA Health soon.

Victorian border

The Victorian border will close from midnight tonight.

For schools in border communities, please consider this when staffing sites over the coming days and when considering students or staff that may require support.

Details regarding the exemption process for permits to cross the border will be provided as soon as they are developed.

Recording attendance

You will be required to complete another short Microsoft form to record attendance for Friday, Monday and Tuesday. We’ll send the online form to leaders each morning and ask that data is sent through by midday.

Emergency facilities management / breakdown maintenance

Sites should continue to contact facilities management to resolve any emergency maintenance problems such as plumbing/electrical issues.

Site access form

The site access form has been updated and must be completed by contractors entering any government site. 

More information

If you have any questions please call the department’s COVID-19 Information Line on 8226 2000 (8am to 5pm). If the team doesn’t know the answer to your question, they will follow it up and get back to you.

Information is also available on the department’s dedicated EDi COVID-19 pages.

You can also call the government’s coronavirus health information line on 1800 020 080.