Don’t feel guilty about sending kids to school: Minister

WORKING parents "should not feel guilty'' for sending their kids to school next week, Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said today.

Mr Tehan urged parents with jobs to send their children back to class when school resumes next week.

"It is absolutely vital our students get the best education they possibly can,'' he said.

"The clear message is for all those parents who are working and they can't look after their children safely at home, school is open.

"To parents who are working, please do not feel guilty about sending your students to school.

"You are playing a vital role in helping our economy and society get through this, in dealing with this pandemic.''



Mr Tehan urged parents to thank teachers and principals for working through the coronavirus pandemic.

"Without them fronting up to our classrooms and making sure they are looking after those students whose parents have to work or vulnerable students … our children won't get that continuity of learning they need,'' he said.

"As school begins to resume for Term 2, when you're engaging with the principal and teachers, please thank them.''


Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan says children of working parents should be going to school when it resumes next week. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan says children of working parents should be going to school when it resumes next week. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas


Mr Tehan said the federal government's panel of medical experts had recommended extra sanitiser at schools, more handwashing and staggered lunch breaks.

He said the medical experts had recommended that teachers older than 65 be given work to do outside the classrooms.

Mr Tehan said online learning would be "very trying, very tough'' in some families with several children sharing a computer.

"In many regional and rural centres it just isn't possible to learn online,'' he said.

"We want to make sure our schools are open for those children.''

Education Queensland has revealed that students will only be expected to learn for two or three hours a day at home.



State Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said all parents should be able to choose to send children to school, or supervise learning at home.

She said her child will be going to school next week if it is open.

"The LNP's position on schools is clear and it's simple - parents that want to send their kids to school should be allowed to," she said.

"So my plea to the Premier today is this, the Premier should reconsider her decision on schools and make school available for every child.

"There is no health advice that says that schools shouldn't be open."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said it was "important that children are able to keep physically going to school''.

"We cannot allow a situation where parents are forced to choose between putting food on the table through their employment, (and) to support their … kids' education''.

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace has stated that schools are open for children of "essential workers''.

"If you are required in your workplace and unable to supervise your children at home or make suitable arrangements, then you are deemed to be an essential worker,'' she said.