CENTRAL Victorian students who live in locked down local government areas will be allowed to attend their usual school if it's in one of the unrestricted regions.
The Victorian government on Tuesday announced prep to year 10 students in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire would have an additional week of winter school holidays.
Premier Daniel Andrews indicated those students could return to remote learning in term three, while year 11 and 12 students would be back in face-to-face classes from Monday.
All students in other parts of the state - including Greater Bendigo, the Mount Alexander Shire, and Loddon Shire - will return to class as expected next week.
A Department of Education and Training spokesperson confirmed students who lived in locked down local government areas but attended school outside of those regions should attend school from Monday.
"Education that cannot be done from home is one of the three reasons to leave the stage three restricted area," the spokesperson said.
Catholic Education Office Sandhurst director Paul Desmond said there was a small number students and staff members from the region's Catholic schools who fell into that category.
"Like every aspect of the coronavirus over the past five months, Catholic education has followed the state government's wishes to the letter," Mr Desmond said. "We will do that into the future."
Mr Desmond said there was also a large number of students who were affected along the NSW and Victorian border.
But he said all students and staff would be able to move between states with the required permit.
While thousands of students across Victoria could return to remote learning in term three, Bendigo principals were relieved their students would be allowed to go back to face-to-face classes.
"I think we had a general feeling that it was possible that there would be further closures," Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce said.
"But it seems to be a sensible approach to have school closures in place where the issue is the greatest. We're certainly pleased we don't have to have a break."
Marist College Bendigo principal Darren McGregor agreed the Victorian government made the right decision.
"I'm really pleased," he said. "But it is a reminder that we need to very vigilant.
"It's a message to schools that lets be appreciative that we have the opportunity to keep going to school but lets keep being sensible."
Mr Pearce said it was important that all year 11 and 12 students would be treated the same.
"I've said on a number of occasions if there is a further break, I expect they will keep year 11 and 12s in," he said. "I know it's challenging for all families, but year 11 and 12 is particularly challenging.
"The truth is there is not much wriggle room available. We already made adjustments to the curriculum and exams.
"There is a really limited scope to make further changes. So we're all really appreciative that those students across the state can continue."
Mr Pearce said BSSC would also reintroduce class excursions and trips this term - permitting they were outside of the lockdown local government areas.
Mr McGregor said Marist College would take a more conservative approach.
"We're still holding on school trips and excursions," he said. "We will read that as the term unfolds. Technically, there is the permission there but we are taking the approach very cautiously."
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