The start of the 2022 school year in Queensland will move from Monday, January 24 to Monday, February 7 to avoid opening schools during the predicted peak of the Omicron wave and to allow more time for children to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said modelling showed the likely peak of Omicron cases would be in the last week of January and the first week of February.
“This is a common sense move to avoid students heading back to primary or secondary school just as the rapidly rising number of Omicron cases in Queensland hits its peak,” Palaszczuk said.
“I know parents are concerned about sending children back to school at a time like this, so I want to assure them that delaying the start of the school year by just two weeks is a sensible solution. This is especially important to give more time to vaccinate 5-11 year olds, who only become eligible to be vaccinated tomorrow, Monday, 10 January.”
Education Minister Grace Grace has confirmed revised lesson delivery will allow the full curriculum to be delivered to Queensland students over a condensed semester, meaning an extra week at the end of the school year will not be necessary.
“The common sense measure to delay to the start of the school year in response to the risks posed by the current Omicron wave of COVID-19 has been received positively by stakeholders and the community” Grace said.
“It’s important student learning isn’t impacted, which is why we flagged an extra week of term. However, after some very helpful and productive meetings with unions and key stakeholders, I am satisfied the full curriculum can be delivered in the condensed semester.
Grace said revising lesson plans for curriculum delivery through Semester 1 will ensure continuity of learning for students and means an extra week of school originally proposed for the end of Term 4 is not required.
“The formal start of the academic school year for kindergarten to Year 10 in Queensland will be delayed by two weeks from 24 January to 7 February,” she said.
“Year 11 and 12 students will undertake remote learning from Monday 31 January until the revised formal start of the school year on 7 February.
“All other students are welcome to use the excellent resources available on our learning@home site, while vulnerable children and those of essential workers will be supervised at school sites.”
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