Release type: Media Release


Let’s reopen country schools


The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education

Decentralisation and Regional Education Minister Andrew Gee has urged schools across regional and remote Australia to reopen to ensure vulnerable students aren’t left behind.

 “With country parts of Australia generally having fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19, schools in these areas should be the first to reopen,” said Minister Gee.

 “We have research strongly indicating almost one in two Aussie kids fall into the vulnerable category with online learning, and that it doesn’t work for them long term,” he said.

 “There’s no reason that country schools can’t safely reopen if adhering to expert medical advice, social distancing measures and cleanliness so that our kids don’t fall behind.”

 The Federal Government’s forward funding offer for Independent and Catholic schools has seen a strong response from the education sector, with approximately 70 per cent of all Independent schools responding to the offer.

“This shows schools want to reopen and if it’s a matter of getting country kids back in schools by region, we can focus on opening classrooms to rural and regional students first.”

 The Federal Government will continue discussions with the states and territories to progress school reopening as restrictions ease off the back of expert medical advice.