Independent schools have called on the Queensland Government to allow all Year 11 and 12 students to return to school immediately.
Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) made the request in a letter to the Premier on 24 April 2020.
“ISQ believes it is appropriate that special consideration be given to Year 11 and 12s. Senior secondary is a most critical phase of schooling and every effort should be made to have minimal disruption to continuity of quality teaching and learning for these students,” ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said in the letter (see copy of letter).
“I also note that in some other States and Territories Year 11 and 12 students are being encouraged to return to schools or are already back at school,” he wrote.
“With Queensland adopting the ATAR for tertiary entrance from this year, it is important that Queensland students are not disadvantaged compared to their counterparts in other States and Territories.”
ISQ said any return-to-school plan must also include arrangements for Year 11 and 12 rural, regional and remote boarding students to provide consistent and workable solutions to safely house them and supervising staff.
Mr Robertson said independent schools were confident they could accommodate their senior students while still meeting the required standards to safeguard student and staff health.
“ISQ is also of the view that priority should also be given to the return of Prep to Year 3 students and whilst this may not be possible in terms of an immediate return, this group should be considered for a return as soon as possible,” he wrote.
Mr Robertson thanked the Queensland Government for its leadership during this challenging pandemic.
“On behalf of the independent sector, I would like to extend my thanks to the Premier, Minister for Education and the Director-General of Education for the collaborative approach they have taken in relation to the independent schools’ sector in dealing with the difficult issues facing all schools.”
Currently there are 22,657 Year 11 and 12 students enrolled in Queensland independent schools. This includes 1,282 Year 11 and 12 students currently attending independent boarding schools.