Independent Schools Queensland has called on the Queensland Government to allow all Year 11 and 12 students to return to school immediately.
It comes amid fears senior students could be severely disadvantaged when it comes to university entry.
“With Queensland adopting the ATAR for tertiary entrance from this year, it is important that Queensland students are not disadvantaged compared to their counterparts in other States and Territories,” ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said in a letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
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In the letter, sent to the Premier on Friday, Mr Roberston said he believes it’s appropriate that special consideration be given to Year 11 and 12 students.
“Senior secondary is a most critical phase of schooling and every effort should be made to have minimal disruption to continuity of quality teaching and learning for these students.
“I also note that in some other States and Territories Year 11 and 12 students are being encouraged to return to schools or are already back at school,” he wrote.
It comes after Education Minister Grace Grace revealed a new decision on Queensland schools wouldn’t be made until May 15.
At this stage, schools are only open for vulnerable children and those of essential workers.
Despite calling for the urgent change, Mr Robertson did praise the Queensland Government for its leadership during the pandemic.
“On behalf of the independent sector, I would like to extend my thanks to the Premier, Minister for Education and the Director-General of Education for the collaborative approach they have taken in relation to the independent schools’ sector in dealing with the difficult issues facing all schools,” he said.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has also slammed the State Government’s decision not to open schools to all students.
“There’s no reason why in my home state, our kids shouldn’t be back at school,” he told Sky News.
“The power of the Unions here, the way in which they have been able to pull the strings of the State Government here for a period of time, is a concern to all Queenslanders.
“As a parent in Queensland, I want the Premier to put the interests of the children ahead of the interests of the Union bosses, and at the moment that’s not happening.”
There are currently 22,657 Year 11 and 12 students enrolled in Queensland independent schools.