NSW Government fails to offer certainty over when remote learning will end

Remote control: Face-to-face teaching will not resume for most students until August 30 at the earliest.
Remote control: Face-to-face teaching will not resume for most students until August 30 at the earliest.

Parents counting on a return to face-to-face teaching in four weeks' time will be disappointed after today's COVID-19 press conference, with the Premier unable to offer any certainty about when normal classes will resume.

Responding to questions from journalists during the daily update, neither Premier Gladys Berejiklian nor Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant would be drawn into providing certainty about when students would return to classrooms.

While a date for the return of year 12 students has been set for Monday, August 16, at this stage, the NSW Government has only said remote learning would continue until at least the end of current lockdown restrictions, which are in place until August 28.

When asked today how realistic it was for children to return to school this year, Dr Chant said: "It depends on the numbers. We are hoping to see a turnaround in the numbers".

She said it was premature to think about "what the situation will be at the end of August".

Ms Berejiklian was only slightly more hopeful when asked if she could rule out school not going back this year.

"I can't predict the future, but I am certainly confident schools will go back before then," she said.

According to an update on the NSW Government Education website, parents and carers in Greater Sydney must keep children - across primary and secondary school - at home unless they need to be at school.

However, schools and outside-of-school-hours care (OOSHC) services are open for any child that needs it.

Year 12 students are set to return to face-to-face learning on Monday, August 16, with the NSW Government saying it is "finalising plans for the resumption of in-class study under strict COVID protocols".

"The NSW Government is also working with industry and the Department of Education to introduce Rapid Antigen Testing to mitigate against outbreaks in workplaces and schools," it said.

Year 12 students from Georges River local government area will be among those offered COVID-19 vaccinations at a new mass vaccination hub to open at Homebush.

The hub, to be located at Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park, was announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week.

NSW Health said Pfizer doses would be redistributed to south-west and western Sydney to vaccinate year 12 students in the LGAs most affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak, including Georges River.

The aim is to "reduce the risk of the virus escaping into the regions from one of their household contacts, such as an authorised worker".

Year 12 students in Bayside and Sutherland Shire local government areas will not be offered vaccination at this stage.

This story No end in sight for remote learning first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.