Parents and families with children returning to boarding school this week remain concerned about the restrictions on students’ movements once back at school say The Nationals WA.
Leader Mia Davies said the news most boarding students could return to school after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions was welcome but said one of the conditions had parents considering keeping their children at home.
“Under the new rules, students who return to boarding school won’t be permitted to leave during term two to return home to family or friends,” she said.
“Similarly, they won’t be allowed visitors or to leave campus.
“Parents and families are balancing an anxiety about the continuity of schooling against their kids’ well-being with these rules in place.”
Ms Davies said families would be more comfortable knowing that the restrictions would be reconsidered by the State Government.
“We wrote to the Minister for Education yesterday raising the concerns of parents who had contacted us over the weekend,” Ms Davies said.
“The Minister has subsequently advised our office that the restrictions will be reviewed and we’d like that done as soon as possible.”
The Nationals WA education spokesperson Peter Rundle said while all schools needed to take appropriate precautions during the COVID-19 crisis the State Government’s restrictions seemed to exceed Federal advice.
“Not allowing students to leave school for any reason goes beyond what was recommended last week by the Federal health agency overseeing the country’s coronavirus response,” he said.
“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee said there should be a focus on reducing out-of-facility visits, not a ban on them altogether.
“Students at boarding colleges will mix with fellow students and staff who will be allowed to come and go from school grounds each day.
“This creates a double standard that we and boarding student families find unacceptable and unfair.”