National Cabinet accepts national code of conduct for regional boarding students to cross borders | Queensland Country Life

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Students in boarding schools in regional regions will now have better opportunities to cross state borders to return home for school holidays thanks to a new code of conduct.

Accepted by all state prime ministers at last Friday’s National Cabinet meeting, the new code will provide consistent border regulations for students to return home during border closures imposed by COVID-19.

The move comes as school holidays begin in several states and after months of lobbying by several educational groups, including the Association of Parents of Unaccompanied Children (ICPA), who have been fighting to help families reunite and help limit mental stress caused by border closures.

“CAPI’s Federal and State Councils across Australia have come together and we have all worked tirelessly with the government to find a solution for rural and isolated families, following protracted border restrictions that have seeing interstate students separated from their homes and families in the bush, ”ICPA Australia said President Alana Moller.

“For many students in rural and remote areas, boarding school is a standard way to access education, especially in the middle and upper years.

“Providing long-term and nationally consistent guidance to families whose students must cross state borders to access education is essential to temper the uncertainty they have experienced throughout. the pandemic. “

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CAPI Queensland President Louise Martin said she appreciated Qld Health’s efforts to adopt a class exemption to allow boarding students to easily cross borders on vacation.

“However, we encourage all states and territories to implement the National Code as soon as possible,” she said.

The consistency provided by a national code will prevent further confusion and upheaval for families, which affects the mental health and well-being of many of our members. “

CAPI NSW President Claire Butler said that while the decision was too late for some bush children trying to cross state borders for school holidays, the news was welcome nonetheless.

“We just got three quarantined students out of a hotel in Victoria and although this news is too late for them, we see this code as a way forward that gives people clear rules and a right of appeal.” Ms. Butler said.

“It has been a very difficult time for our families, sandwiched between three states with three completely different rules and one of the biggest problems was not having a clear contact to deal with in the health services.

“This code brings transparency and certainty, which is very nice.”

National Senator Perin Davey said the new code would provide states and territories with principles to develop a cohesive national approach to helping boarding students and their families cross intra-state and interstate borders during school vacations and during school periods.

“Everyone has faced a lot of uncertainties due to restrictions on travel within states, let alone travel across state and territory borders,” Ms. Davey said.

“But these travel restrictions have left some students stranded with no way to return to their families, adding to the pressure and uncertainty they face.

“The mental well-being and resilience of these students has been seriously tested and unfortunately I know of students who have decided to withdraw from school rather than face continued uncertainty.

“This decision recognizes the unique circumstances of residential school students, their families and residential schools, and their staff.”

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