Everything you need to know about changes to schools and childcare under Victoria’s new restrictions

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Learning for Victorian students will change from now on.

As part of the state’s latest tightening of restrictions, students will be required to go back to flexible and remote learning from Wednesday.

This includes VCE students, who had been learning on campus. Here’s when it all takes effect and what it means for you.

When does remote learning begin?

Remote learning will take effect as early as Wednesday, August 5, with flexible and remote learning required for every student across Victoria, including VCE students, who have been learning on campus.

Monday, August 3, will be a normal school day and Tuesday will be a pupil-free day before the new rules come into effect.

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All Victorian students will return to an at-home-learning format.

While specialist schools will remain open and students of parents who are working will have the option to go to school and be supervised, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says those exemptions will be rare.

“We will be reducing the total amount of students that are at school and therefore the total amount of movement,” Mr Andrews said.

What are key changes?

With a return to remote learning for most students, there will be a few things done differently to adjust to new restrictions.

The General Assessment Test (GAT), which is usually held at the end of Term 3, will now be moved to the start of Term 4.

The six-week period will take schools through to the end of Term 3.

Vulnerable children will still have access to the in-school experience.

“There will a slight difference in terms of the number of students that are presenting because there’s no alternative [in] metro versus regional but we will try [to support],” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews said vulnerable children that did need that in-school experience would be supported.

What are the changes in regional Victoria?

In regional Victoria, all students will move to remote and flexible learning and childcare centres will remain open.

Education Minister James Merlino said regional VCE students would learn remotely in an attempt to provide a “level playing field” for students taking part in end-of-year exams across the state.

Mr Andrews said all students in regional Victoria would move to remote and flexible learning, but there would be a larger number of students at schools due to parents working because the economy in regional Victoria would be more active.

What about childcare?

Kindergarten and childcare centres in metropolitan Melbourne will be closed, except to very vulnerable children and the children of workers as needed.

Because regional Victoria has moved to stage three early childhood remains open.

​How is VCE and VCAL affected?

Significant changes will be made for VCE students.

Mr Merlino said he wanted to assure students and families they would receive their ATAR score and VCE and VCAL certificates by the end of the year.

“We will be in step with every single state and territory,” he said.

Mr Merlino acknowledged remote learning wasn’t easy.

He says for year 12 students “this is a year like no other” and they will need support along the way.

Because the six-week period would go to end of Term 3, all the plans for Term 4, including VCE exams, getting results, getting certificate before end of year remained [up in the air], according to Mr Merlino.

More detail around these announcements will be given tomorrow.

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