23/04/2020

Health advice from South Australia’s leading public health official is clear – families should feel safe about sending their children to school.

South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, has written to parents and school staff across the state overnight, encouraging them to send their children to school or preschool when Term 2 begins next week.

In her letter, Professor Spurrier states that with the very low levels of COVID-19 in South Australia, along with the wider public health strategies in South Australia, there is no need for school closures in this state, also noting the importance of schools as a central part of our children’s lives.

Education Minister John Gardner said that the latest advice should reassure parents that they can send their child to school or preschool.

“Advice from SA Health and Australia’s expert health body, the AHPPC, has remained consistent that schools, preschools and early childhood facilities are low risk environments and should remain open,” said Minister Gardner.

“Professor Spurrier and her team have done an outstanding job keeping South Australians safe during this crisis and our state will continue to be in the best possible position to deal with the coronavirus by listening to the experts.

“If everyone in your family is well, I encourage you to send your children back to school or preschool this term.

“Educational opportunities are an absolute right for our children and our schools are an essential service. Physically attending school provides a better learning environment for our young people, with access to specialist facilities and face-to-face teaching.

“We understand that not all parents will be sending their children to school next week, and our educators have been working hard to ensure that all students are still supported in their learning.

“Our strong protocols remain in place for the minimum 24-hour closure in instances where a positive test for coronavirus is received by a student or staff member who has been attending a school or preschool, allowing SA Health to contact anyone at risk and to undertake a deep clean of the site.

“We will continue to follow the latest public health advice and will act accordingly if that advice changes.

“I want to thank our teachers, educators and support staff who have been true community leaders during this unprecedented time, and who will continue to be pivotal in supporting our children and their families when they return to school next week.”

View a copy of Professor Spurrier’s letter to parents.