The ACT government isn't planning to open more "hub" schools for students unable to learn from home in Term 2, despite hundreds of extra parents signing their child up to attend the campuses every day.
It comes as pressure continues to mount on the Barr government to move students back to the classroom, with new federal government figures highlighting the massive economic cost of school closures.
The ACT government last week signalled a staggered return to classrooms at some point in Term 2.
But for now it is persisting with its remote learning program, in which all students are being taught remotely and only a small number of schools are remaining open for children who require supervision.
Almost 3900 ACT public school students - or close to 10 per cent of total enrolments - had been signed up to attend one of the nine supervised sites as of Tuesday afternoon.
That was an increase of almost 500 students from Thursday last week and up nearly 1200 from April 22 - when the government finalised the number and location of the hub schools.
Although fewer than 50 per cent of those students are attending a supervised school site on any given day, the rapidly increasing number of registrations suggests parents are increasingly keen to get their child back in a classroom.
The expert medical advice is that schools can be fully open.Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Government and independent health experts have consistently advised throughout the pandemic that schools are safe for students - a message the federal government has been pushing for weeks.
In addition to accommodating students who have registered, staff at the supervised sites are being forced to deal with children who are turning up to campuses unannounced.
The ACT Education Directorate has confirmed that a number of students attended one of the sites - Red Hill Primary School - on Thursday despite not being registered.
Parents have told The Canberra Times that as many 80 unregistered students attended Red Hill on that day.
A directorate spokeswoman said the students were not turned away. Their parents have since been asked if they wanted to register their child, she said.
In a statement to The Canberra Times late last week, the directorate spokeswoman said the number of students registering and attending the supervised sites was "expected and planned for".
Despite the rush of registrations, she said the government was not "actively" considering opening up new school sites. Education minister Yvette Berry has previously said the government would open up more campuses if there was demand.
The spokeswoman left the door open to that option, saying that "we will continue to monitor registrations and will manage demand accordingly".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison again expressed his desire to see students return to the classroom on Tuesday, repeating the health advice while also drawing attention to new figures on the economic cost of school closures.
Closing schools and child care centres for three months would have cost the Australian economy $34 billion, according to the Treasury figures. School closures have wiped three percentage points off economic growth and affected 304,000 jobs.
"The expert medical advice is that schools can be fully open," Mr Morrison said.
"The expert economic advice we have received from the Treasury is that not opening schools fully, this is costing jobs and it does cost the economy - those are the facts."
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