Release type: Media Release


Updated advice on social distancing at school


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education

Australian students took another step back to the classroom today with the National Cabinet providing updated advice on the requirements for social distancing at schools.

National Cabinet agreed the 1.5 metre social distancing requirement and four square metre rule for venues was "not appropriate and not required" for schools, the Prime Minister has said.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the national agreement updated advice for teachers, parents and education authorities as schools in some states and territories prepared to return to classroom teaching.

"The expert medical advice has been consistent that it is safe for children to go to school and schools should remain open," Mr Tehan said.

"Parents and teachers would also be reassured by the Chief Medical Officer’s comments that the community risk from children returning to the classroom was low.

"The risk remains from adult-to-adult transmission, so schools should limit contact between teachers and parents, allow older and vulnerable teachers to work from home and follow the advice from the AHPPC when it comes to schools.

"We are determined to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our children’s education and that means returning to classroom learning as soon as possible where it is safe to do so.

"A return to the classroom will allow our teachers to get back to doing what they do best: educating the next generation of Australians.

"Our teachers make such a valuable contribution to our society through their work and that has been magnified during the coronavirus lockdown."