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Sydney Catholic Schools Executive Director Tony Farley appeared on Facebook Live on Friday 22 May in a video that reached over 19 thousand people on Facebook.

Sydney Catholic Schools Executive Director, Tony Farley. PHOTO: Kitty Beale.

Mr Farley was accompanied by Jaqueline Frost, the Chief of Staff of the Executive Director’s office, in the 32 minute video where the pair answered questions that had been sent in by students, parents and teachers enquiring about the Sydney Catholic Schools response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We thank you for being involved in this Facebook conference,” Mr Farley told viewers. “It’s a great thing to do and we’re looking forward to hearing from you now and in the future.”

“In some ways it’s almost like we’re experiencing some of what our students have been experiencing over the remote learning period,” said Mrs Frost. “Talking to a screen and getting that live feedback, so it’s certainly a great opportunity for us.”

The team at Sydney Catholic Schools have been working hard to ensure that the schools in the Archdiocese remain safe and prepared learning environments for students and staff during this period.

A wide range of questions were submitted both in advance and while the live event was taking place, covering a variety of concerns.

“Is it a requirement that Catholic schools follow the public school directives? Now that measures are in place to support online learning, can Catholic Schools continue with the staggered approach rather than returning to fulltime so soon, keeping the distance learning for at risk students or students that need to be at school while their parents work,  why the rush to return full time to the class room?” – Melanie.

“As a family we wonder, are we going back [to] five days too soon? Given the recent case of another Catholic School have [a student] tested positive to COVID-19.” – Cathy

“Schools have been asked to continue safe practices of sanitising and social distancing, however in an average classroom filled with furniture, a teacher, an LSO [Learning support officer] and 30 adult sized stage three students, how is that going to work?” – Gail

If you missed the Facebook Live event and would like to see the answers to these questions and more, you can watch the video below.

Tony and the SCS team are working to set up more opportunities for this sort of event, and will be able to take your questions directly regarding a range of topics and concerns that will arise in the future.