Department program

Bushfires 2020

This page includes updates for Victorian schools, early childhood services and TAFEs on the 2020 bushfires.

As the impact on services is known, we will update this page. Check emergency closures to see if your local service is affected.

If you're a parent or carer, see our dedicated bushfire information for parents.

Emergency information

For the most up to date emergency information, visit Emergency Vic.

Emergency Vic also has information on:

Resources for...

Parents and carers

Schools, principals and teachers

School closures

Check the emergency closures page to see if your school is closed.

At this stage all schools are planning to operate from the first day of Term 1. The regional office will be in regular contact with school principals to ensure schools are safe and accessible.

If your school is in a bushfire affected area, stay away from the school grounds until at least 13 January 2020, but always check emergency warnings first. Some schools are in use as official fire refuges or to support emergency service operations.

Contact your principal in the first instance. You can also contact your closest regional office.

Emergency procedures

Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures:

Support and counselling for you

All DET staff have access to 24 hour counselling through the Employee Assistance Program. Phone 1300 361 008. The service is also available to your immediate family members who are 18 years or older.

See the Emergency Vic website for relief and recovery services, including financial assistance.

Supporting students and their families

See mental health support after an emergency for guidance on how you can support students. It includes a guide to managing trauma.

The bushfire information for parents and carers page includes a list of counselling services you can refer students and their families to.

The VCAA's Bushfire Education website includes teaching resources and lesson plans on bushfires, including preparing for, responding to, and recovering from fires.

Families may request support with school costs due to financial hardship. Familiarise yourself with the relevant procedures:

Early childhood services and staff

Service closures

Check the emergency closures page to see if your service is closed.

The Quality Assurance and Regulation Division (QARD) will be in regular contact with all service managers regarding the safety of assessing your early childhood service. Contact your approved provider or service manager in the first instance.

If you are the approved provider and are unsure, contact QARD on 1300 307 415.

Emergency procedures

Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures:

Support for you

See the Emergency Vic website for relief and recovery services, including financial assistance.

Financial support for your service

Your service may be eligible for a Business Continuity Payment. This is administered by the Australian Government Department of Education. Call 1300 667 276 for more information.

Supporting children and their families

See mental health support after an emergency for guidance on how you can support children. It includes a guide to managing trauma.

The bushfire information for parents and carers page includes a list of counselling services you can refer children and their families to.

The VCAA's Bushfire Education website includes teaching resources and lesson plans on bushfires, including preparing for, responding to, and recovering from fires.


TAFEs and Learn Locals

Check the emergency closures page to see if your service is closed.

Contact your TAFE or Learn Local directly for information on operations.

Further information for training services will be added to this page as it becomes available.


Donations to affected areas

Right now we kindly ask you to not donate goods. Relief centres in the area are overwhelmed with goods donations and this is affecting critical tasks.

The best way you can help is by donating money. Donate through the Bushfire Disaster Appeal, or through any Bendigo Bank.

At this stage, offers from volunteers are not required. As affected areas work through their needs, more information on opportunities will become available.