All official overseas travel by state school students and staff has been halted until further notice due to the ongoing threat of Coronavirus.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Director-General of the Department of Education (DoE) issued the directive for all international destinations other than New Zealand.
“The decision was made with the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff in mind,” she said.
“In consultation with the Chief Health Officer and Queensland Health it was decided that further protective action to contain COVID-19 was needed to minimise risk to Queensland students and staff.”
Minister Grace said this decision aligns Queensland with other state education systems.
“Schools should manage the impact of this directive locally and communicate this decision to parents and caregivers as a matter of priority.
“I recognise that this directive may cause some disruption to planned tours and I would ask that schools work with their travel agent and insurers as appropriate.
Minister Grace said DoE continues to follow the advice of Queensland Health in relation to the management of this significant health issue.
“Any decision to close a school or early childhood centre would not be taken lightly and would be based on advice from the Chief Health Officer.
“It would also include a full assessment of any risks to the health and welfare of staff, students and children.
“Continuity of learning is an extremely important consideration in our response planning.
“As in other disaster and emergency management events, the department has online learning materials and virtual classroom capability that can be used by schools where appropriate to support sustained curriculum delivery.”
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace