Public school teachers and staff will be able to work from home if they choose to during the ACT's "pupil free" period, after their union struck a deal with the education directorate on Wednesday.
The government said it would work closely with the union to ensure schools were appropriately staffed, although it couldn't guarantee that there would be enough teachers to support children who did attend class.
Australian Education Union ACT branch secretary Glenn Fowler said teachers had expressed concern that they were being forced to work from school while large parts of the community moved into lockdown in response to coronavirus.
ACT schools have gone "pupil-free' until school holidays, with teachers and staff remaining on campus to prepare for the move to remote learning from Term 2 onwards.
Teachers are also continuing to run classes for the small number of students who are physically attending school.
Fewer than five per cent of public school students attended class on Tuesday, according to Education Minister Yvette Berry.
Mr Fowler said teachers who had requested permission to work from home in recent days had received "varied responses", which had created anxiety.
"There is an inherent contradiction by having these lockdown measures on businesses and public gatherings, and yet there is a business-as-usual for teachers," he said.
"It was creating enormous uncertainty at schools. Teachers were questioning this contradiction."
Mr Fowler said teachers were "entitled to the same level of security and well-being" as other professionals.
"We have now secured the option for our members to have the same sort of isolation that can be achieved by other parts of society and other industries," he said.
"Why should they be any different?"
Mr Fowler said the union didn't have a position on whether or not schools should be shut entirely. He was open to negotiating with the directorate about how to manage the students who continued to attend class.
A spokeswoman for Ms Berry confirmed a deal had been struck which allows teachers and staff to work from home if they want to.
Asked if the directorate could guarantee there would be enough staff to manage students who physically attended class, the spokeswoman said: "We are working very closely with the union to ensure that teachers are supported to work from home where possible, and that there are enough professionals to engage the children, that are attending, in learning."
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