The Victorian Government will continue to provide free rapid test kits to families through schools and early childhood settings for the start of term 2, with further deliveries rolling out this week.
While Victoria’s surveillance testing system remains voluntary, we want parents to be confident sending their kids to school, kinder and childcare – and we know testing can help.
To support families who choose to undertake voluntary surveillance testing, 16 million RATs will be distributed from this week for students, staff and children across the education system to use for at least the first four weeks of Term 2.
Assuming a 50 per cent compliance rate with screening of students, Department of Health modelling estimates voluntary surveillance testing has prevented 113,500 COVID infections throughout Term 1.
Testing recommendations will remain the same, with all primary and secondary school students and staff, and early childhood education and care staff and children, encouraged to test at home twice a week.
Those at special schools are encouraged to test five days each week due to the higher risk for medically vulnerable children.
Alongside voluntary rapid antigen tests identifying cases as early as possible before they enter the classroom, the Government is also continuing its strong ventilation measures – with a further 60,000 air purifiers currently on their way to schools to add to the 51,000 already delivered.
Vaccination remains the best way to protect students and staff – and children aged 5 to 11 are strongly encouraged to get their first and second doses, and staff and students aged 16 to 17 should get their third dose.
The measures are an important step to ensure that schools and early childhood centres remain as safe as possible for staff and students in Term 2 and throughout the winter months.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We know surveillance testing has prevented tens of thousands of kids getting sick and having their schools shut – and we thank the many Victorian families who have opted into voluntary testing.”
“We’ll keep supporting Victorian families with the cost of living, with free rapid test kits available through schools and early childhood settings for the start of Term 2.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt
“Early childhood services are critical in our kids’ early development – we’ll continue to support them with strong COVIDSafe measures to keep children and staff as safe as possible.”
April 14, 2022 - Parliament
I was going to begin with a text for today, but I really cannot let the member for Gembrook get too far away there. I just want to talk about elephants briefly—it is the concept of the elephant in the room. When I hear this...
April 4, 2022 - Parliament
Watch my speech on the Gambling and Liquor Legislation Amendment Bill below.
March 18, 2022 - Parliament
As a former officer in the RAAF, I was especially delighted to be given the honour of representing the government at the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin. It was a timely reminder that many Australians have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our...
November 29, 2021 - Parliament
Adapted from John Kennedy’s Speech to the Legislative Assembly on 17 November 2021 The Attorney-General’s question and answer document states: ‘We will better balance the right to equality with the right to religious freedom, ensuring protection and promotion of both rights.’ There are colleagues better...
November 1, 2021 - Parliament
Last week, the Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 passed in the Assembly after being the source of both public and parliamentary debate. Personally, I think you would be hard pressed to find a better contribution about both the bill and the nature...
October 18, 2021 - Parliament
Mr KENNEDY (Hawthorn) (13:39): During 2019—near the end of 2019—the Minister for Education invited me to a busman’s holiday, and basically the busman’s holiday was to chair the reference group in respect of the review into vocational and applied learning pathways in senior secondary schooling....
Member’s Statement, given on the 5th of July, 2021. This week is Homelessness Week. I find it astonishing that in an affluent country such as ours over 116 000 people experience homelessness on any given night. Research has shown that secure and affordable housing is...
August 3, 2021 - Parliament
My question is for the Minister for Education and is regarding the proposed VCAL reforms. The integration of VCAL into the VCE follows a review by former Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority CEO John Firth. I was pleased to chair the expert reference group for...