Term 3 Update – 7th August 2020 – Onsite Attendace


Dear Parents, Guardians and Families,

As you are aware, Victoria has been declared a ‘state of disaster’ and stage 4 restrictions have been implemented. Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, families and community. Whilst the school has yet to have any positive cases of COVID, we are in a global pandemic with Victoria being the most compromised state in Australia and our school located in an area which has consistently had the highest level of active cases. This remains a significant concern for the leadership team and staff of Sunshine SDS.

The aim for stage 4 restrictions is to reduce movement across the state and the school will be supporting this agenda with a focus on the health and safety of our community and the state of Victoria.

The requirement is for all staff to be working from home where possible and we need to have staff willing and able (volunteering) to provide onsite supervision. In order to access onsite supervision it needs to be evidenced that there is no capacity for care provision at home. We implore you to consider all options available to you to ensure the health and safety of your child is maintained in the home. This may include: reducing work hours, taking leave, family supports, NDIS workers etc.

We have just received guidance from the Department of Education and Training. Onsite supervision will only be available to:

  1. Children whose parents are permitted workers and for whom no other arrangements can be made
  2. Vulnerable children including:
  • children in out-of-home care
  • children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
  • children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
  1. Children with a disability and the family is experiencing severe stress.

 ***Severe stress category

Principals will contact parents/carers to discuss appropriate arrangements where the family is experiencing severe stress due to the functional impact of the child’s disability on providing care and supervision for remote and flexible learning (including via referral from external agency, mental health or other health service). In these instances, school/s will take a collaborative family-centred approach to determine appropriate on-site attendance arrangements for children with disability. This will seek to address the severe stress families are experiencing and be consistent with the intent that on-site supervision is to be provided in limited circumstances only to limit the movement of people across metropolitan Melbourne as far as possible as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As a Child Safe school and to fulfil mandatory reporting obligations, the school may deem it necessary to contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) if the level of stress impacts on the ability to provide adequate care for your child/ren in the home.

A panel inclusive of regional staff will be formed to consider any application under criteria 2 and 3 as each of these applications will require extensive review, consideration and contact with families.

Families applying solely under the Permitted Worker criteria will be required to have an authorised Permitted Worker Permit. We require you to provide your Permitted Worker Permit to the school to establish eligibility under this criteria. The submission of the Permitted Worker Permit must include accurate shift information and does not automatically guarantee the school will be able to support all documented hours. This information will be considered and enable the school to ascertain the best level of care provision.

With each application, the school needs to consider the following:

  • The aim for stage 4 restrictions is to reduce movement across the state
  • For one student onsite there is a requirement for a minimum of 8 staff
    • 2 bus staff
    • 2 cleaners
    • A representative of the leadership team
    • 3 staff (e.g. casual staff)
  • If the student has complex behaviour challenges or medical needs, we need to ensure we have access to suitably qualified staff willing and able to work
  • Two or more students attending onsite will require additional staff

A reminder that onsite attendance will be following the below guidelines and will look significantly different to what your child is familiar with.

Your child:

  • will be temperature checked (and sent home if the second reading is over 37.5)
  • will be sent home if they present with or develop any cold and flu symptoms (in the event we are unable to contact families or emergency contacts, an ambulance may be called)
  • will not be in their classroom
  • will not be with familiar staff
  • will not have access to the playgrounds or play equipment (including break times)
  • will have no access to other parts of the school
  • will only have access to learning from home resources (the same as sent home)
  • will likely be in mixed age groups (e.g.: students from 5 -18 year olds)
  • may be the only student at school


  • will adhere to all DET guidelines regarding social distancing, wearing of PPE, hygiene practices
  • will maintain 1.5m distancing at all times (except if requiring attendant care and meal support)
  • will only supervise the Learning at Home plan and will not be in the direct act of teaching

If you feel you fit the above criteria, please email [email protected] by 9am Monday 10th August 2020 to request an attendance form and we will send these on Monday, with the view to reviewing eligibility on Tuesday.

Due to us only just receiving the DET guidance and our capacity to get this information to you, applications will be reviewed early next week, please make the necessary care arrangements for your child In the interim.

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Nicole Edwardes