Support for every family

Published Sunday, 19 April, 2020 at 01:07 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has praised families, teachers, principals and Education Department staff as Queensland prepares for a Back to School like no other.

An heroic effort in homes and schools has readied students to learn from home to further curb the risks of COVID-19 with support measures including:

• An initial extra 5,254 laptops for families in need
• 5,000 simcards
• 4,000 dongles and hot spots
• New and repurposed laptops, iPads and internet devices from the Resources Industry and
• Two new hotlines for state school (1800 570 793) and early childhood families (1800 454 639) for information and support

The Premier said no family needs to feel alone.

“Our teachers and principals are there to help – just as they’ve always been,” the Premier said.

“Help is there when you need it.”

For the next five weeks schools will be open only to vulnerable children, the children of essential workers and students in indigenous communities.

Education Minister Grace Grace said no-one could have known at the beginning of the school year that the second term would be so different.

“I understand these are challenging times as we adapt to new ways of working and learning,” the Minister said.

“But we have already shown how successfully we can pull together as a state and the results in slowing the spread of COVID-19 are world class.”

Ms Grace said the hotlines have been set up for state school and kindergarten parents to contact if there are any issues in the first few weeks.

“I encourage parents to contact their schools in the first instance,” she said.

The department had also purchased 5,254 laptops which will be distributed across the state.

“In addition Telstra has donated 5,000 simcards to add to 4,000 dongles and hotspot devices to further help students,” the Minister said.

The Queensland Resources industry is also working with the government to provide help to needy children through the Queensland Mineral and Energy Academy.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the industry was already working through 75 secondary schools.

“We are close to finalising processes that would see resource companies supply new and repurposed laptops, iPads and internet devices for QMEA schools,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The success of learning from home will be assessed in late May.