ACT schools closed, but now they’re open, aren’t they?

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Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

NOTE this morning from an ACT school principal: “Your child cannot attend school during the pupil-free period. Our teachers will use this time to design lesson plans for students. We ask that you give them some space to do this work, as it will position us to best support your child’s continued education.”

Education Minister Yvette Berry this afternoon: “No child will be turned away from their school if parents need to send them to school.”

Little wonder parents across the ACT are climbing the walls with frustration.

But it’s not the ACT government’s fault, apparently, with Chief Minister Andrew Barr blaming a changed national cabinet meeting. He told a press conference this afternoon that the confusion was because the meeting, which was supposed to be on Tuesday, was brought forward to Sunday.

The confusion comes after the ACT government released a statement yesterday which said “pupilfree” days will begin in all public schools in the ACT on Tuesday (March 24), effectively  closing all schools – public and private – ahead of the Easter holidays.

“This will provide schools and teachers with time to prepare for a range of learning delivery options, including online, similar to how distance education is provided in remote areas,” Ms Berry said yesterday.

But the conflict arose when Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night urged the nation that school’s across Australia will remain open.

Mr Barr said the national cabinet has decided to meet more frequently to avoid future confusion, and statements will no longer be released ahead of meetings. Parents, it seems, are left to sort it out themselves.

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