ISA Submission to the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Response Inquiry

15 December 2023

Read ISA's submission to the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Response Inquiry to identify lessons learned to improve Australia’s preparedness for future pandemics.

It is widely acknowledged that many of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 pandemic responses were, by necessity, undertaken in haste and without any of the usual processes that would normally accompany the development of national measures of such scale. However, the different approaches to schooling between the Australian Government and State and Territory governments caused significant confusion among representative bodies, school boards, principals, teachers, parents and students. It seems clear that the Australian Government was heavily invested in schools remaining open however, constitutionally school education and health are the responsibility of State and Territory governments.

Better integration of decision-making between States and Territory governments and the Australian Government about schooling but also across a range of other areas, including border control, would have significantly reduced the confusion experienced by not only Independent schools but also the students who attend them and the families of those students.