An almost normal start of school

Three colourful school bags lie in the grass

An almost normal start of school

Normally, in August the start of school still feels an eternity away. This year, however, 500 schools will start the new year two weeks earlier. The summer school is a voluntary offer for pupils to catch up on materials. Teachers must also volunteer for the project without receiving a bonus salary. Some federal states, such as Vienna and Upper Austria, are still looking for additional educators. How will schools start in Austria? Shift- or full-time? Complete or reduced teaching?

The Austrian Minister of Education called Heinz Faßmann is optimistic. He excludes staggered school attendance as well as compulsory masks in the classes. The whole process shall take place as normally as possible. If distance learning will be necessary again, a plan ‘B’ is needed in order to enable a smooth switch. This can be seen in comparison to Germany, where schools have already opened. Two had to close again because of an infection. To prevent major school closures in Austria the use of gurgling tests against corona diseases is emphasized.

Furthermore, families will receive a special payment of 360 € per child in September. Parents in Austria are granted family allowances regardless of their employment or income. The allowance can be received until the child’s 24th birthday, however, from the age of majority (18 in Austria) the granting is conditional on the existence of vocational training. In exceptional cases, such as disabilities, family allowances can also be received until the 25th birthday. Until the age of three, the family will receive 114, – euros per month for the first child. The amount increases in age and number of kids. Additionally, in September, a school entry fee of €100, – is paid automatically for each child between six and 15 years. The bonus payment is to be paid out together with the family allowance and the school starting fee. Regardless of how the situation will change during the cold season, families are not left alone.

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