• Loddon Herald

Plan for school return: MP

LOCAL MP, Peter Walsh has called for the delivery of a common-sense plan to ensure a safe return to the classroom for all Victorian students for the first day of Term 1 in a fortnight.

Mr Walsh said after struggling through the world’s longest COVID lockdown – and eight consecutively-disrupted school terms – Victorian students have fallen behind and missed too many critical days of face-to-face learning.

Which he said is why he is calling on the Victorian government to adopt the Victorian Liberal Nationals’ common-sense plan to get kids back in the classroom – and keep them there.

The plan includes:

  • A guarantee that schools will not be locked down.

  • Free rapid antigen tests for all students and staff with vaccinations made easily available.

  • Ensure all classrooms are equipped with air purifiers.

  • A plan to manage staff shortages and ensure continuity of learning.

“This plan will support students and their families to return to school safely and allow children to fully re-engage with their educational, social and mental development,” Mr Walsh explained.

“After two years of this pandemic, there simply is no excuse not to be prepared – our children have been denied their lessons and the Andrews Labor government has failed to learn anything from its botched handling of every aspect of the pandemic,” he said.

“The Government must deliver this comprehensive plan to safely get our kids back into classrooms throughout 2022.

“If it doesn’t, the government’s failure to prepare is threatening our kids return to school and seeing students fall even further behind.

“Our plan will support the children, and their families, to make a safe and successful return to the classroom so we can recover and rebuild for the future.

“By getting kids back to face-to-face learning we will help get their educational, social and mental development back on track.”

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