Research Papers

Download details

Primary and secondary school closures in Victoria due to COVID-19

Introduction

This chronology provides an overview of key opening and closing dates for Victorian primary and secondary schools between March 2020 and February 2021 in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school year was modified in an attempt to reduce in-person gatherings and movement into and across the state. Using predominantly government media releases, as well as information from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the chronology maps the changes to the school year—from the initial transition from face-to-face learning to remote learning, and then the resumption of face-to-face learning, in Victorian schools.

2020

Date

Announcement

Source

28 January

Term 1 begins.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020 (archived), DESE website, archived 19 February 2020.

22 February

Travel exemptions to be granted to senior high school students who cannot travel to Australia, due to restrictions on foreign nationals who have been in mainland China.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Facilitating China-based students to attend Year 11 and 12, media release, 22 February.

22 March

School holidays to be brought forward to 24 March.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Statement from the Premier, media release, 22 March.

24 March

Term 1 concludes.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Statement from the Premier, media release, 22 March.

27 March

Original Term 1 end date.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020 (archived), DESE website, archived 19 February 2020.

7 April

During Term 2 'all children who can learn at home must learn from home'.

D. Andrews (Premier) & J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Victorian students to learn from home, as VCE timelines revised, media release, 7 April.

14 April

Term 2 begins with a pupil-free day.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020, DESE website.

15 April

Students begin Term 2 classes.

D. Andrews (Premier) & J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Victorian students to learn from home, as VCE timelines revised, media release, 7 April.

12 May

A timeline for resuming on-site learning is released.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Getting our kids back into the classroom, media release, 12 May.

22 May

Details on how VCE and VCAL exams will be run are released.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Certainty for students with exams to start in November, media release, 22 May.

25 May

Pupil-free day.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Getting our kids back into the classroom, media release, 12 May.

26 May

Prep, Grade 1 and 2, VCE and VCAL students, vulnerable students in Year 3 – 10 and those whose parents cannot work from home resume on-site learning.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) First wave of students back in the classroom, media release, 26 May.

9 June

Grades 3 – 10 return to on-site learning.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) All students back in the classroom, media release, 9 June.

26 June

Term 2 concludes.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020 (archived), DESE website, archived 19 February 2020.

7 July

VCE students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to on-site learning for Term 3 as planned on 13 July.

Prep – Year 10 students will have an additional week of school holidays.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Statement from the Premier, media release, 7 July.

9 July

Daily temperature checks to be introduced in schools across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Temperature checks to be introduced in Term 3, media release, 9 July.

12 July

Prep – Year 10 students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will begin Term 3 with remote learning from Monday 20 July until at least 19 August.

D. Andrews (Premier) & J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Return to flexible and remote learning, media release, 12 July.

13 July

Term 3 begins.

Only VCE, VCAL and students whose parents and carers cannot work from home, and those attending local specialist schools, return on-site.

Schools in regional and rural Victoria return to on-site learning.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020 (archived), DESE website, archived 19 February 2020.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Temperature checks to be introduced in Term 3, media release, 9 July.

20 July

Most Prep – Year 10 students begin Term 3 remote learning.

Face masks to be required in schools from 23 July.

D. Andrews (Premier) & J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Face coverings and masks for metro schools, media release, 20 July.

2 August

Melbourne moves to Stage 4 restrictions.

All school children (including in regional and rural Victoria) to return to remote learning from 5 August. Children of permitted workers and vulnerable children may attend on-site learning.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Statement on changes to regional restrictions, media release, 2 August.

4 August

Pupil-free day for those who attend on-site learning.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Statement on changes to Melbourne's restrictions, media release, 2 August.

5 August

All students return to remote learning.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2020) Statement on changes to Melbourne's restrictions, media release, 2 August.

18 September

Term 3 concludes.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020 (archived), DESE website, archived 19 February 2020.

21 September

A timeline for the return to face-to-face learning in regional and rural Victoria is announced.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) School camps to return for regional and rural Victoria, media release, 21 September.

5 October

Term 4 begins.

All students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire continue to learn remotely.

Prep – Grade 6 students in standalone schools in regional and rural Victoria return to on-site learning. Year 7 – 10, VCE and VCAL students in regional and rural Victoria continue to learn remotely.

D. Andrews (Premier) & J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Roadmap for all students return to the classroom, media release, 5 October.

8 October

Prep to Grade 6 students in P – 12 rural and regional schools return to on-site learning.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) School camps to return for regional and rural Victoria, media release, 21 September.

12 October

Primary school, Year 7, VCE and VCAL students return to on-site learning in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

Years 7 – 10, VCE and VCAL students in rural and regional Victoria return to on-site learning.

D. Andrews (Premier) & J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Metro students head back to the classroom, media release, 12 October.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) School camps to return for regional and rural Victoria, media release, 21 September.

26 October

Year 8 – 10 students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire return to on-site learning.

J. Merlino (Minister for Education) (2020) Every student returns to the classroom, media release, 26 October.

18 December

Term 4 concludes.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2020) Back to school dates 2020 (archived), DESE website, archived 19 February 2020.

 

2021

Date

Announcement

Source

27 January

Term 1 begins. All students return to learning on-site.

Department of Education and Training (2021) School term dates and holidays in Victoria (archived), DET website, archived 4 March 2021.

12 February

As part of the circuit-breaker lockdown, students will not return to school on 15 February.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2021) Statement from the Premier, media release, 12 February.

15–17 February

All students to work remotely.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2021) Statement from the Premier, media release, 12 February.

18 February

All students return to on-site learning.

D. Andrews (Premier) (2021) Statement from the Premier, media release, 17 February.

 

Research & Inquiries Service

Chronologies are produced by the Parliamentary Library's Research & Inquiries service. They provide brief information on issues of interest to Members of the Victorian Parliament.

Information in this publication was current as at the time of printing. It should not be considered as a complete guide to the particular subject or legislation covered. While it is intended that all information provided is accurate, it does not represent professional legal opinion. Any views expressed are those of the author(s).

Some hyperlinks may only be accessible on the Parliament of Victoria's intranet. All links are current and available as at the time of publication.

Enquiries:
Dr Dolly MacKinnon

Coordinator, Research & Publications

Victorian Parliamentary Library & Information Service

Parliament House

Spring Street, Melbourne

Telephone (03) 8682 2833
www.parliament.vic.gov.au