Home learning has been a struggle for most parents and children, but for some children with disabilities there hasn't been any learning at all, parents say.
Paco Iglesias, Chairman of the Malkara School Board, has called for a fast-tracked return to school for children with special needs, underpinned by a vaccine mandate for staff at specialist schools.
"I would say the Barr government considers itself to be inclusive, however, children with special needs, are not being given access to the special provisions they need," Mr Iglesias said.
Mr Iglesias, whose daughter attends Malkara primary school, feels she and other children are being forgotten by a plan that doesn't consider the educational and social needs of children with disabilities.
"They're being treated like every other child with the assumption that home-based learning works for them when it doesn't," he said.
"I would say that they are losing that valuable learning time, which cannot be replaced."
The pathway forward sets out a staggered return over five weeks, with most children and young people returning from October 25 and November 1.
"All specialist schools have remained open throughout the ACT's lockdown and all school sites have remained open for vulnerable students who may face additional challenges to learn from home. This includes students with disability," an ACT Education Directorate spokesperson said.
Mr Iglesias said Malkara School was operating with a skeleton staff, and that communications around "vulnerable" children were unclear for parents of children with disabilities.
"A lot of these children haven't really done anything at home, because they cannot replicate ... the teaching skills and expertise that the specialist schools afford them."
He said that beyond the educational resources offered by specialist schools, the social interaction and the structured routine were imperative for many of the kids who attended Malkara, including his own child.
"I would say that the home learning it hasn't happened."
Dominique Burton, whose son attends the Woden School, said there had been some perks to home schooling, but echoed comments that learning had been limited.
She said homeschooling had allowed more freedom to tailor their regime to their son, who has struggled to be engaged at school, but that he had "done minimal home schooling."
Returning to school after a long period off will be a challenge though, she said.
"Whilst he doesn't necessarily enjoy school, he is definitely run by routine."
Ms Burton is in support of a vaccine mandate for staff at specialist schools, echoing earlier calls from Malkara parents after the school was listed as an exposure site in September.
"We're mandating it for the people in our aged care facilities, they're vulnerable, these kids are just as vulnerable, if not even more vulnerable, their entire families are vulnerable," she said.
"It would make me feel a lot more comfortable if I knew that all the teachers at school have had their full regime of vaccination."
While the ACT government has said that vaccination rates for school staff and specialist school staff are high, parents say it's about having the assurance that their children are protected.
"It's about the health and the welfare of all the students and staff ... there's children at Malkara, who have got weakened immune systems and [are] immunocompromised ... [and] for the sake and peace of mind of a lot of parents," Mr Iglesias said.
A spokesperson for the ACT Education Directorate said: "We are very confident that teachers overwhelmingly want to get vaccinated to protect their students, their colleagues, their families and themselves."
The directorate is surveying the teaching workforce about vaccination and as at midday October 1 more 900 staff had responded, with over 97 per cent of respondents were currently fully, partially or booked to be vaccinated.
When broken down to specialist school respondents, the proportion of staff fully, partially or booked to be vaccinated was 100 per cent.
The spokesperson said the government had "consulted widely" about the return to school, including from staff, parents, carers and students from all ACT public schools, including specialist schools.
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