Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce and Catherine McAuley College principal Brian Turner have welcomed the clarity provided by the premier's education announcement this morning.
The state government this morning announced students will be educated remotely from home while VCE exams will be moved from October to December.
Mr Pearce said having students study remotely while at home was an eminently sensible decision.
"We are all working on the assumption we will not open as normal and now we can confirm that arrangement," he said.
"Clearly uncertainty remains about whether schools will open in term three but this announcement provides certainty around term two.
"Students have certainly been anxious. Students aspiring and working to places in university will be anxious.
"It's something anyone expected, (but) one good thing is the affirmation from state government and Department (of Education) that there is no reason why student should be disadvantaged."
Mr Turner said staff were ready for the announcement this morning.
"We had some semblance that this would be the case," he said.
"The whole term was a bit of a surprise but conversations started as early as three weeks before the term break.
"Having four days off (before holidays) was a clear indicator to get contingencies in pace and prepare for an online platform."
Mr Turner said access to online education will be an issue for some students but that schools would be working with families to ensure no student would miss out.
"Access will be a real challenge for kids in Bendigo (but) you can't avoid those challenges," he said.
"You will have to provide extra resources for some families. That would be socio-economic for some families but we have to make sure we contact each and every one of those families to make sure have what they need.
"It's around making sure we tick every box and try to provide opportunities for everyone. What that looks like will include some creativity to make sure everyone has the opportunities.
"This is a time where people and parents need to be patient. It's a different space."
VCE students will be able to study until December when exams are planned to be held.
Mr Pearce said the additional time would be valuable for year 12 students and their teachers.
"The good thing about delaying exams is it give teachers more time with students," he said.
"It's one thing to be learning online but teachers all over the state will want to get together face-to-face to reinforce that learning.
"Exams generally commence at end of October, so by pushing them back by about month, it gives additional time."
If the coronavirus situation didn't improve, Mr Andrews flagged potentially having 2020 exams in early 2021.
Mr Turner said the idea of holding exams early next year was impractical.
"December is more practical than the initial notion where (students) thought they could be doing exams in January," he said. "How that would work for staffing would be unique but the notion of getting everything all done by December is a practical solution."
SCHOOLS will re-open next week but families are being told that if students should learn from home if they can.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and education minister James Merlino announced what the school year will look like at a press conference this morning.
Mr Andrews said schools will re-open next Wednesday following a pupil-free-day on Tuesday.
But students and families are being asked to learn form home where they can.
Students who are unable to learn from home will be able to attend schools if they have digital issues or have parents who are still working in essential services.
"If you can learn from home, you must learn from home," Mr Andrews said. "If you can't learn from home, we will run same courses in school.
"We're not happy to have to go to this system (but) we have about one million students enrolled in non-government and government schools.
"We can't have one million students moving around Victoria every day. All that will do is spread the virus. Nothing about this is business as usual, (there is) so much disruption and change."
Mr Merlino said the Department of Education had spent past weeks preparing for students to be able to learn from home.
"We have vast numbers of staff working remotely," he said. "We will make sure every child gets support they need. Every child that needs a laptop or tablet will receive one.
"Schools will work with individual families to work out the needs of children and households.
"Yes this (school) year will look different but we are focused on studies. Principals, teachers and staff have done outstanding work."
For VCE students, exams are now planned for December rather than late October.
Other changes for VCE students will include the GAT test being moved from June to October or November and a reduced number of SACs for students.
"The aim is to finish (students') VCE this year," Mr Merlino said. "If we need to go to plan B, an announcement will be made later in the year. That could include exams being held (early) next year or could include the ATAR being derived by looking at GAT scores, SACs and school based work."
"My message to students and parents is your child will finish the year and receive a VCE or VCAL certificate and an ATAR. They will be able to go on and pursue further study or go into the work force.
"VCAL students in term 2 and 3 will do more theory-based work, with term 4 to be more practical work."
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