NSW Deputy Premier says mask mandate for schoolchildren is ‘ludicrous’

NSW deputy premier Paul Toole has slammed a new Victorian mandate for face masks in primary schools, describing the decision as “crazy”.

Victorian students in years three to six will be required to wear a mask while at school.

Mr Toole, who is a former schoolteacher, said it was a ridiculous requirement.

“I don’t really see the point of that – it’s really going to be constricting those children in that state,” he told Sky News.

“It’s a crazy decision and I don’t think there’s health advice that could actually support that decision that is being made.

“It’s ludicrous at the end of the day.”

PREMIER PRESSERCamera IconNSW deputy Premier Paul Toole said he didn't believe there was health advice that supported the mask mandate for children. NCA NewsWire / Adam Yip Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Toole said his own state had a better approach to managing the return to in-person learning.

“We’re getting the right balance here in NSW,” he said.

“You know, we’ve got kids that are going back to school on the 18th, we have brought them forward by a week so they will all be back on the 25th of October.

“Having homeschooling and online teaching, it’s very difficult. And I think that (school) is the best place for our kids to be.”

Kids on first school day after quarantine.Camera IconVictorian students in years three to six will be required to wear a mask while at school. Credit: istock

Mr Toole was a primary school teacher in Bathurst until he was elected into state politics in 2011.

“As a former schoolteacher, and talking to a lot of my mates who are still school teachers, they want the kids back in the classroom,” he said.

“They know that face-to-face teaching is going to provide the best opportunity and the best way of learning for these young people.”

The Fort News