Clarification on boarding schools needed, MP says
MEMBER for Gregory Lachlan Millar is pushing the Queensland Government for “direction and clarification” on term 3 boarding school arrangements.
Boarding school students will be able to return to school next term, after some coronavirus restrictions are eased and each school makes it own risk management plan.
But comparing the situations of boarding students with day students, Mr Millar said boarders must feel as if they were “non-persons”.
“There is still no clear direction on what schools need to do if boarders are to return,” he said.
“In the boarding school, social distancing is strictly enforced, even during mealtimes.
“They can’t socialise or study with their mates. They can’t have recreational or sporting contact with their fellow students. They can’t leave the school campus.
“Then during the day, they are working with day students who are free to mingle with the community, go to markets, go on marches, use public transport and hug their parents and siblings.”
Mr Millar said the education and mental health of some boarding school students were suffering.
Education Minister Grace Grace said her announcement last week was a positive move to get more boarding school children back into the classroom.
“Ensuring the health and wellbeing of Queensland students remains our highest priority,” she said.
“It is essential that we balance the lifting of all restrictions with ensuring we keep everyone safe during the ongoing global pandemic.
“Relaxing some restrictions is an exciting step forward for Queensland that will have a positive impact on regional and remote school students.”