On Wednesday, the federal government offered to bring forward 25 per cent of federal payments to independent and Catholic schools if those schools plan to resume classroom teaching by June 1. They initially gave schools until Friday to make the decision.
The move caused a backlash from workers in the independent sector, who voiced frustration at the differences between federal and state government advice over when to end remote learning.
Victoria has committed to completing term two remotely, although Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said this could change if evidence supports an earlier return.
Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green said the Morrison government had placed staff, students and parents at independent schools “in an extraordinarily difficult and unfair position”.
Beth Blackwood, chief of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools Australia, said Victorian principals were more likely to follow state government advice.
Victoria and Tasmania remain the only states not to have outlined plans to return to classroom teaching in term two.