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Let’s get disadvantaged children back in class

COVID-19 has been devastating in disadvantaged communities particularly for those who have been sick or lost loved ones. The restrictions imposed on our everyday lives have become increasingly difficult for those who do not have adequate living conditions, access to technology, are juggling childcare and work, have lost their jobs, or are not able to access vaccines.

For The Song Room, a worsening education equity gap is ever present in our minds as students miss the critical opportunity to learn alongside their teachers and peers in classrooms. Grattan Institute research shows that extended school closures puts at risk children’s learning. We also know that this has a negative impact on wellbeing as students become disconnected from their friends and communities.

Despite the hardships, in many ways our society is privileged. As an organisation we are constantly seeking out new ways in which we can support our team. Most importantly this includes the Teaching Artists who as educators are critical in the delivery of quality education, and bring joy to learning in ways which are so highly valued by schools and families at this time.

We wholeheartedly support an Australian society where front line workers are prioritised for immunisation. We encourage the prioritisation of vaccines for teachers to enable a safer environment for young people to learn in, at school. This includes those teachers who work for critical education providers, like Song Room Teaching Artists. The increasing number of school exposure sites is concerning for organisations like ours who are committed to the safety of its people, and the communities they work in which are often at greater risk.

We could not have predicted in March 2020 that nearly 18 months down the track close to 90% of our programs would require remote learning. While we are well prepared to do this work in whatever form it takes, we are so excited to get back into the classroom as soon as possible to do our best work.

Alice Gerlach
Chief Executive Officer

 

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