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Queensland schools to remain open during coronavirus lockdown

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasazczuk says parents can choose whether or not to send their children to school as the teachers union calls on the state government to close schools down from Wednesday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed Queensland schools will remain open but the state's teacher's union is threatening strike action.

"Parents have a choice – if they choose not to send their child to school, they can make that choice," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"But schools will remain open."

Ms Palaszczuk said the state is different to others across the country. "We are in a different stage to some of the other states as well," she said.

"I recognise Queensland is decentralised state. Some parts of our state don't have any numbers of coronavirus at the moment.

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"And, of course, some have very, very minimal numbers. But we are watching this every single day, and if he the expert health advice changes, then, of course, we will change."

Education Minister Grace Grace said schools will remain open until school holidays start on April 3, and if parents keep their children at home, they are responsible for their education.

"The responsibility for children not going to school will be solely with the parents and carers and we ask that they adhere to these requests. In addition, if your child is sick or if you are sick, they must not attend school," Ms Grace said.

"We also ask that if teachers and, in fact, the whole entire staff of the Education Department, if they have concerns regarding their own health or that of their families, to immediately raise these issues with their principal or regional effort, so we can arrange for them to work from home and make suitable arrangements."

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9News understands St Margaret's Anglican school will be closed today after three parents tested positive to COVID-19 over the weekend.

Brisbane Girls Grammar has also moved to an online education model for the final week of term.

Union calls for schools to close

The Queensland Teachers Union has called on the state government to close schools to students from Wednesday.

https://twitter.com/ShannonMM9/status/1241888250400108545

Union president Kevin Bates says students should not be in class by the end of the week, and teachers need time to gear up for what comes next.

He says schools do not have basic hygiene products including soap, and teachers have become increasingly concerned about the threat to their health, with social distancing impossible in classrooms.

"We're seeing reports all of the time that schools are really struggling to keep up supplies," he told ABC radio today, after the union held emergency talks.

"They are trying ... (but) suppliers are simply not coping with the demand.

"That's one of the things that contributes to this decision today, to call for schools to be closed to students from Wednesday."

- Reported with AAP

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-queensland-schools-remain-open-but-parents-can-decide-qld-news/390ed6d8-0754-4952-be08-1f70b995ba76

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