Australian parents could be called in to help supervise children in the classroom under a bold new plan to help schools tackle with Covid outbreaks.
Amid concerns of staff shortages, independent schools have been told they can ask parents to volunteer to supervise students in classrooms.
The briefing, by the Association of Independent Schools of NSW on Monday, warned principals up to 20 per cent of teachers at a single school could be off sick at once.
Chief executive Dr Jeff Newcomb said the association was also eyeing off retired teachers to help pitch in.
"They're anticipating anywhere between 15 to 20 per cent staff shortages. We would support, you know, retired teachers or new graduates who have their qualifications, getting accreditation, so they can assist," he told the ABC.
Non-teaching staff would be used to surprise children, but would not be permitted to teach the curriculum.
It could lead to a situation where a parent supervises the class in person while a teacher delivers a class remotely.
"Even we could have parents in schools under a supervisory role where the teacher might be at home doing an online lesson if they have to isolate," Dr Newcomb said.
"Like we're not going to put an unqualified person in front of a class to teach maths. But I think we can use a cross section of people to assist if this gets to the crisis stage."
Parents could be called in to help supervise children in the classroom under a bold new plan to help schools tackle with Covid outbreaks. Photo / Getty
The association is also in talks to set up vaccination clinics inside the school gates.
"Many of our schools are ready to go to set up a vaccination hub as we do with the flu vaccination," chief executive Dr Newcomb told the ABC.
National cabinet will meet on Thursday to discuss a uniform approach to a return to the classroom.
Queensland has already delayed its start to the school year, while South Australia has announced it will stagger the return to the classroom.
- by Courtney Gould, news.com.au