Schools in Victoria scrap pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day: Family vacation plans are thrown into chaos as schools are told to scrap the Melbourne Cup school holiday to get kids back in class a day earlier

  • Students in Victoria return to the classroom for face to face learning from Monday
  • Schools have been urged to cancel their pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day
  • Government directive throws family holiday plans over the long weekend into chaos
  • This weekend marks end of the travel ban between Melbourne and regional Victoria

Long-anticipated trips away for millions of families holed up lockdown for months in lockdown have been thrown into disarray.

Schools across Victoria have been urged to cancel their pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day so students can return to the classroom earlier.

Covid-19 restrictions will again be eased across Victoria later this week as the state hits the 80 per cent vaccination milestone.

The travel ban between Melbourne and regional Victoria ends 6pm Friday, just in time for the four-day Melbourne Cup long weekend.

The Victorian Government has advised public and Catholic schools to welcome back students from Monday and to reschedule pupil-free curriculum days initially planned until later in the year ‘wherever possible’.

Schools across Victoria have been urged to welcome back students from Monday and reschedule pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum days (pictured, Melbourne students returning to school after the last lockdown in July)
Schools in Victoria scrap pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day

Schools across Victoria have been urged to welcome back students from Monday and reschedule pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum days (pictured, Melbourne students returning to school after the last lockdown in July)

Students of all grades initially weren’t expected back in the classroom until Wednesday because of the school holiday.

Many will now return to full-time, face-to-face learning on November 1 before Tuesday’s public holiday.

The directive to schools obtained by the Herald Sun aims to ‘support the early return of all students to onsite learning’.

‘This may not be possible in all cases, but schools in this situation are asked to make every effort to accommodate the earlier return to onsite learning,’ the memo read.

Parents spent the last few days planning last-minute family vacations over the long weekend as regional areas reopen to Melbourne for the first time since the 77-day lockdown lifted.

The decision to scrap pre-Melbourne Cup school curriculum days has thrown many of those family holidays into chaos.

Many schools originally planned to use Melbourne Cup Eve as a curriculum day (pictured punters at the 2019 Melbourne Cup)
Schools in Victoria scrap pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day

Many schools originally planned to use Melbourne Cup Eve as a curriculum day (pictured punters at the 2019 Melbourne Cup)

‘We had already booked so my kids are missing out on another day of school,’ one furious parent said.

A government spokeswoman said curriculum days were a decision for schools.

‘Given our 80 per cent double-dosed milestone has fallen so close to the long weekend, schools are free to choose whether to defer their pupil free day,’ she said.

Victoria recorded 1,461 new Covid cases on Monday, its lowest new daily infections in three weeks.

Longsuffering Melbourne residents were finally released from lockdown last Friday, sparking celebrations across the city.

The latest 77-day lockdown was the city’s sixth since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Students will return to the classroom for the first time in 88 days next week (pictured students returning to school after the state's fifth lockdown)
Schools in Victoria scrap pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day

Students will return to the classroom for the first time in 88 days next week (pictured students returning to school after the state’s fifth lockdown)

The Victorian Government is trialling 15-minute antigen tests on students as part of a plan to use them across the state.

Schoolchildren who are close contacts of Covid-19 cases will be able to return to the classroom if they have a negative rapid test result.

The tests aim to cut down on the number of days children have to spend away from the classroom due to a fellow student testing positive.

If the trial is successful, rapid tests will be rolled out across society to combat the economic loss created by groups being locked out of work for days due to being contacts of the infected or having been at an exposure site.

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The decision has thrown many family holidays into chaos (pictured, travellers at Melbourne Airport)
Schools in Victoria scrap pre-Melbourne Cup curriculum day

The decision has thrown many family holidays into chaos (pictured, travellers at Melbourne Airport)

MAJOR CHANGES TO COVID RESTRICTIONS IN VICTORIA

FROM 6PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29: (80 per cent full vaccination of people 16 and over) 

  • Intrastate travel allowed, reuniting Melbourne and regional Victoria
  •  Outdoor masks scrapped
  • People can return to work if fully vaccinated
  • Outdoor public gatherings increase from 15 to 30 people
  • Gyms and retail reopen
  • Indoor and outdoor hospitality venue capacity limits increase for fully vaccinated patrons
  • Indoor entertainment venues reopen at 75 per cent capacity, up to 1000 fully vaccinated patrons
  • Outdoor seated and non-seated entertainment venues can open to up to 5000 fully vaccinated patrons
  • Indoor sport can resume with density cap

FROM NOVEMBER 24: (90 per cent full vaccination of people 12 and over)

  • No limits to home and outdoor gatherings
  • Masks are not required except in limited high-risk or low-vaccinated settings
  • Retail, hospitality, and entertainment venues can operate at maximum capacity
  • Major events can host maximum capacity crowds for fully vaccinated patrons with an approved Covid-safe plan

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