Minister for Education Dan Tehan said today the safety of all Australians is the number one priority for all levels of government as they work together to address the impact of COVID-19 on education.
The first National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) meeting was convened yesterday to co-ordinate planning across all levels of government, and identify what events will activate a response from the sector.
The NCM is part of the Government’s response under the Communicable Disease Plan and COVID-19 Pandemic Plan. The NCM will bring together the work produced by other groups, such as the Education Sector Pandemic Preparedness Committee and the Global Reputation Taskforce.
Mr Tehan said the education sector was working together in the best interests of public safety.
"Our number one priority has been, and always will be, the safety of Australians and our response to COVID-19 is informed by expert medical advice," Mr Tehan said. "The Federal Government, states and territories and the private sector are working together to develop consistent responses.
"We are addressing risks, gaps and priorities by sharing information, expertise and best practice. For example, New South Wales was the first state to deal with a school closure and they are sharing their insights and experience to support other states and territories in the event of a school closure in their jurisdiction.
"All education ministers are in regular contact and we agree that to the greatest extent possible we should have a nationally consistent response to COVID-19. We also agree that parents, carers, students and the community should receive consistent and informative communication.
"As the Prime Minister has said, Australia will confront the challenge of COVID-19 and we will emerge stronger. The best thing we can all do is work together, stay calm and follow the expert medical advice."