Communicating with parents and carers

Victorian students, teachers and support staff have begun a staged return to on-site schooling. This follows advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

The return to school will take place in two stages. This will give the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Government time to monitor and evaluate the effects that the staged return to school has on the increased movement of people and transmission within the community.

Find out more about the staged return to on-site schooling.

Establishing your communications approach

We recommend that schools establish a communication approach for parents and carers. This should make clear:

  • how and when you'll communicate with them
  • how and when students and parent/carer(s) can contact teachers and/or the school
  • that they'll receive a schedule or calendar from the school that shows what learning tasks students are expected to perform
  • preferred methods of communication. These may include mail, email, digital learning platforms, the school website, social media, telephone, videoconferencing, and using interpreters.

Clarify learning from home expectations

We also recommend that schools clarify and communicate what students, parents and carers need to do during remote learning. You should note that:

  • learning activities must be self-contained and manageable and should not rely too heavily on parents as educators
  • learning activities will be designed to cater to the whole class, including students with disability and additional learning needs
  • learning activities may need to focus on the goals of the Individual Education Plans (IEP) where appropriate
  • parents/carers may not always be available during the school day to support learning from home – many will have work, caring or other responsibilities
  • the parent or carer is responsible for students’ general safety during remote learning
  • some parents/carers may experience more difficulty in supporting learning from home. For example, parents/carers with English as an additional language, low levels of literacy or a learning disability.

Tips for parents and carers

Find advice, tips and resources to help parents and carers support their child’s continuity of learning from home.

This advice includes links to literacy and numeracy resources and tips. Parent/carer(s) can use these with their children at home without the school’s involvement.

Schools can:

  • direct parents with questions about supporting learning from home to this advice
  • create and distribute their own materials/resources.

Supporting students with technology at home

Schools contacted families in the first week of Term 2 to determine students who need access to the internet, or to borrow a device. This included students from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds, and those who attend schools in bushfire-affected areas – these students will be given priority.

Students with no access to a device at home will be offered either a tablet or a laptop, depending on which device is used normally in their class. Tablets are better suited to younger students and laptops are better suited for senior primary and secondary students.

The Department has partnered with Telstra to provide 1000 4G dongle devices with 4G internet access, and 4000 SIM cards that provide 4G internet access, for families who do not have access to the internet at home. These will be free of charge, and will be provided for the next six months. Devices will be distributed in the first two weeks of Term 2.

Students using these devices will only be able to access school systems and educational websites.

Families who do not have internet access at home, such as those who live in an area without 4G reception, should talk to the school about how students may receive materials that do not require online access. These can be mailed to students or collected by parents. Completed tasks can be returned in the same way.

The materials are aligned to the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

Some students with disability and additional learning needs may use a range of equipment and technology (accessible software) at school that is necessary to their learning in the home environment. In these instances the school should work with families to support their access free of charge. Exceptions would be where the equipment is large or heavy or requires intensive training to operate safely. Schools should also nominate a contact person to facilitate requests for troubleshooting or damage.

Translated learning from home resources

We’ve translated key learning from home resources, available at: Learning from home advice in your language.

Additional resources

Interpreting services

Schools can access free interpreting and translating services to communicate with families.

LanguageLoop provides a telephone interpreting service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

LanguageLoop can also offer video interpreting services.

To contact LanguageLoop and find more information, visit the Use an interpreter or translator web page or call (03) 9280 1941.

Translated health information

Translated health resources about coronavirus (COVID-19) are also available: