Students in Victoria will return to learning from home

Most Victorian schools and students will move to “flexible and remote learning” from Wednesday as part of tough new lockdown restrictions across the state, Victorian Premier Andrew Daniels announced on Sunday.

Year 11 and Year 12 students will return to studying from home, however, schools will remain in operation for students with special needs.

“Special schools will remain open for those who really need to be in those settings,” Mr Andrews confirmed. “And the children, the students of parents who are working, they will be able to go to school and be supervised but it will really only be those that are absolutely necessary to do so.

“We’ll be reducing the total amount of students that are at school and therefore the total amount of movement.”

The shift back into remote learning comes after another surge in coronavirus cases, forcing the state to adopt stricter lockdown measures.

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During a press briefing on Sunday, the Mr Andrews emphasised that children will special needs and children from regional areas will also be taken into consideration.

“In regional Victoria, they will move to remote and flexible learning for all students but there will be I think larger numbers of student that are allowed to be at school because their parents are working,” said the Premier.

“That economy in the regions will be functioning at a higher level and won’t be limiting the number of students who can come and be supervised because they simply can’t be supervised at home.

“I want to make the point that vulnerable children, children that really do need that in school experience, they will get that. They will be supported. There will be a slight difference in terms of the number of students who are presenting because there’s no alternative metro versus regional. We’ll try and provide every support we can to every single student.”

While students in Victoria will still head into school, Tuesday has been declared a pupil free day across the board by Mr Andrews.

“We will then move to flexible and remote learning for all students come Wednesday,” he confirmed. “That is a difficult decision. But if you think about it from regional Victoria, that’s more than 100,000 people who are not going to be moving around regional Victoria who otherwise would be.”

RELATED: Melbourne childcare attendance dwindling amid pandemic

The adoption of remote learning comes after Premier Daniel Andrews announced 671 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths along with new stage four restrictions today.

He said a state of disaster has been declared from 6pm on Sunday in addition to the state of emergency.

Metropolitan Melbourne has been put under a curfew from 8pm tonight.

“The only reason to be out of your home between the hours of 8pm and 5am is to get care, to give care, or to go to and from work or be at work. We can no longer have people visiting others. We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever,” Mr Andrews said.

Supermarket shopping has been limited to one person per household from 6pm. Recreational activity has been banned and exercise limited to one hour each day.

The restrictions are set to stay in place for at least six weeks.

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