392. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Minister for Education and Training:
I refer to concerns about the requirements of students returning to school boarding facilities.
(1) Has the department provided written guidance to schools about the reopening of school boarding facilities?
(2) If yes to (1), will the minister please table a copy?
(3) Will students be permitted to leave boarding facilities; for example, to visit friends or go to the shops during the school term?
(4) Will parents be permitted to visit their children at boarding facilities?
(5) Is the government undertaking any work with boarding facility operators to ensure decisions around boarding arrangements involve parents as advised by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee?
(6) If no to (3), (4) and (5), why not?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(2) Yes. I table the attached information.
[See paper 3850. - Return of students to Department of Education residential facilities — Operational Guidelines (all residential facilities) - (Hon Alison Xamon)]
(3) As per the operational guidelines, students will have safe opportunities to leave the college grounds for activities such as exercise and shopping when appropriate.
(4) Residential college managers and agriculture college principals are to manage requests using their discretion, but should accommodate requests for short-term contact visits; for example, to attend an appointment or go for a walk to catch up. Parents are not able to enter boarding facilities.
(5) As part of the review of school arrangements, the Department of Education met with a range of stakeholders yesterday, Monday, 11 May. This included the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association and the Western Australian Council of State School Organisations.
(6) Not applicable.