Independent schools placed under unfair political pressure
The federal government’s announcement that it will bring forward funding payments if Independent schools resume classroom teaching has placed the staff, students and parents in Victorian Independent schools in an extraordinarily difficult and unfair position, the Chief Executive of Independent Schools Victoria, Ms Michelle Green, said today.
‘Schools now have just two days to decide if they are able to provide a safe workplace for their teachers and a safe learning environment for their students, in circumstances where they are all under incredible strain and many are under financial pressure,’ she said.
‘If they resume on-site education, they will be rewarded with financial support. If not, that support will be withheld.
‘Independent schools are being used as a wedge in a policy disagreement between the Federal and Victorian governments. This is unfair and entirely inappropriate when what’s at stake is the health of children and their teachers.
‘The students and teachers at Independent schools are being pitted against their government counterparts.
‘ISV has consistently recommended to its Member Schools that they follow the advice of the Victorian Government, based in turn on the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.
‘While not mandatory for Independent schools, this advice is that schools should provide remote and flexible learning for the majority of their students, while providing onsite learning for those who have no alternative .
‘Just two weeks ago the federal government told us that Independent schools that acted in accord with Victorian Government health advice were effectively compliant with Federal advice.
‘This announcement, which was given to the media before it was sent to Independent schools, will leave many schools – and their teachers, students and parents – confused and frustrated at a time of extraordinary and unprecedented stress.’
ISV represents more than 220 widely diverse schools that educate more than 145,000 students across Victoria.
ISV Media and Communications Advisor
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