REVEALED: Possible way Qld schools will reopen
QUEENSLAND will look at reopening schools in a staged way, allowing vulnerable junior and senior students just starting or completing their studies to get back in the classroom first.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the plan was one of a range authorities were considering ahead of the May 15 deadline when parents will find out the future for Term 2 studies.
The revelation followed Independent Schools Queensland demands that schools be open to Year 11 and 12 students now.
Ms Palaszczuk said that was "one of the key things we're absolutely looking at".
"But also too, it's those early years," she said.
"I don't want to prejudge but we are doing a lot of work behind the scenes, we'll be talking to everybody to get this right.
"My key role here is to see more face-to-face contact between teachers and students. That's essential."
Ms Palaszczuk said authorities were still working on COVID-ready plans for social distancing and school drop-off.
"The last thing that we want to see is a return to school where teachers are congregating together, they need to have social distancing practices put into place," she said.
"And also too, we need to make sure that at drop off and pick up, that we don't have parents congregating in groups that could actually see community transmission."
Meanwhile, opposition education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie has written to Chief Health Officer
Jeannette Young to ask for the health advice given to the Queensland Government that recommended schools only take students of "essential workers" who aren't working from home.
Mr Bleijie said parents were contacting him to discuss apparent discrepancies between Commonwealth and state advice around the safety of schools and he needed the information to be able to better advise the community.
"Importantly, I would appreciate receiving the advice that recommends that the majority of students in Queensland learn from home," he wrote to Dr Young on Friday.
"If such advice does not exist, then I can only conclude that the issue of school attendance is more of an industrial issue with the Queensland Teachers Union than a health issue."
The health advice has not been released, despite repeated requests for it, although Dr Young has publicly defended the school policy as necessary to help stem the spread of the virus.
Ms Palaszczuk labelled as "ridiculous" renewed criticism from Morrison Government Minister Peter Dutton, who said Queensland schools were closed because the government was beholdant to the teachers' union.
"Peter Dutton is not getting the health advice I'm getting so I will listen to the experts and I will respond to the experts," she said.
Originally published as REVEALED: Possible way Qld schools will reopen