Importantly, through the National Principles for School Education, all government and non-government schools, including special schools, have been encouraged to continue to provide an on-campus option for those children who are not able to learn at home, including vulnerable children, children with disability and the children of essential workers. Guidance for school leaders about how to do this, whilst minimising the relatively low risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools has been provided by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
The decision on whether students who are medically vulnerable or have additional support needs attend school should be determined in consultation with the principal, the parent/carer and the student's medical practitioner where appropriate. The Department of Health has published the Return to School for Students with Disability COVID-19 Health Risk Management Plan to assist with this decision.
Schools must continue to ensure students with disability receive reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Disability Standards for Education 2005. The web portal for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on students with disability contains more advice for schools and parents about adjustments.
Resources for learning at home
Guidance and resources for learning at home, including advice for students with disability are available on state and territory education websites:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) have also provided guidance on learning at home.