Member for Barker welcomes the endorsement by National Cabinet of a National Code to support the COVID-safe travel needs of boarding school students.

The National Code for Boarding School Students provides states and territories with principles to develop a consistent, national approach to help boarding students and their families travel across intrastate and interstate borders during school holidays and throughout school terms.

Mr Pasin said while the Term 3 holiday period is about to commence, this decision gives boarding students and their families greater certainty in planning any traveling between school and home, and back again for Term 4.

“This is positive outcome for those boarding school students in Barker who may have to travel in accordance with COVID-19 border restrictions, as well as for their families,” Mr Pasin said.

“Everyone has had to contend with a lot of uncertainty due COVID-19 lockdowns, both for travel within South Australia let alone travel across state and territory borders.” Mr Pasin said.

“But these travel restrictions have left some students effectively stranded with no means of being able to return to their families, adding to the pressure and uncertainty they’ve been experiencing.” Mr Pasin said.

“This decision recognises the unique circumstances of boarding school students, their families and of boarding schools and their staff.” Mr Pasin said.

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Senator Bridget McKenzie welcomed the adoption of a national code to support boarding students.

“Boarding students need to move safely and efficiently between their schools and homes,” Minister McKenzie said.

“While border closures and intrastate travel restrictions have helped control the spread of COVID-19, it has unintentionally left many boarding students isolated and unable to receive the support and care of family that they need, which has had a dreadful impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

“Today’s decision is a win for common-sense. The National Code takes a clear, compassionate and practical approach to supporting COVID-safe travel by boarding school students and their families.”

There are approximately 23,000 boarding school students throughout Australia. Normally, about 1,600 students around Australia would be crossing a state or territory border to return home from their boarding school.

Jurisdictions will be responsible for implementing the Code in line with the relevant health advice.