Schools in SEQ continuing to reopen

Queensland Government media release

State schools across southeast Queensland will continue to reopen as flood waters recede, damage assessments are carried out, and travel becomes safer.

Education Minister Grace Grace said inspections carried out over the last two days showed that most schools across the southeast corner of the state would be able to reopen on Wednesday, 2 March, with the number of closed state schools expected to drop from around 550 today to nearer 150 tomorrow.

“Our teams have been working very hard to examine the damage to our schools and determine which are safe to open,” Ms Grace said.

“In addition, as we move out of the most extreme part of this weather event, we expect travel to become easier and safer.

“We also know that many students are keen to get back to school, and there are parents and carers that need to get back to work – especially those involved in dealing with the aftermath of the floods.

“We expect the majority of staff and students to be able to safely travel to these sites, but please only head into school if it’s safe for you to do so.”

Minister Grace said around 150 state schools are expected to remain closed, but they would provide remote learning where possible.

“These schools are shut either because inspections show they aren’t safe for students to attend, or because we haven’t even been able to access them to carry out an inspection,” Ms Grace said.

“Remote learning will be provided where possible, which will of course depend on staff and students having access to power and equipment. Schools will communicate directly with students and families about this.

“We will be working incredibly hard to get these schools open as soon as we can, but as always the safety of our students and staff is the top priority. Assessments are currently happening to see what will be needed to make the sites safe again.

“For example, some schools will need substantial cleaning and replacement of furniture, equipment, and floor coverings, while others have more significant damage and are going to need major repairs.

“Those schools that have had more significant damage may need to be closed for longer periods of time. They will be supported by the department to find local solutions that suit their school communities to ensure safety and continuity of learning.

“Individual management plans for each school are being developed, but options will include remote learning, temporary buildings, and the use of other local schools.”

Minister Grace encouraged families to check the Queensland school closures website which will have all closures listed, including catholic and independent schools.

“The department will be updating this list from 12pm to 4pm, to show which schools will be closed the following day,” Ms Grace said.

“The site also guides you to where to get updates on early childhood providers.

“The rainfall and floods have been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, particularly due to the rapidly evolving nature of the weather event.

“I’d like to thank our students, principals, staff, families – our entire school communities – for their incredible resilience in yet another challenge that’s been thrown their way.

“Please everyone stay safe and even if your school is open: if it’s flooded, forget it.”

Information on Queensland school closures can be found at https://closures.qld.edu.au/. The site also guides you to where to get updates on early childhood providers.

To access online tools and resources to support students, visit the [email protected] site.

Stay up-to-date with the latest Bureau of Meteorology warnings, including flood warnings, river levels at the BOM website.