Teachers Threatened With Mandatory Vaxinations in NSW by October

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Teachers Threatened With Mandatory Vaxinations in NSW by October

By Georgina Harrisson

What you need to know:

  • In the event stay-at-home rules are lifted in regional NSW before the end of Term 3, schools in those areas can expect to return to face-to-face teaching and learning at Level 3.
  • From Monday 25 October, select cohorts under stay-at-home rules – starting with students in Kindergarten and Year 1 – will return to face-to-face learning under Level 3 plus COVID-safe settings, as long as community transmission and vaccination rate requirements have been met.
  • From Monday 1 November, students in Years 2, 6 and 11 will return to school sites under Level 3 plus settings.
  • From Monday 8 November, students in Years 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 return to school sites under Level 3 plus settings.
  • Students in Year 12 and those completing their HSC are already able to return in a limited way, and this will continue for the remainder of Term 3. From 25 October, these students will have full-time access to school campuses and their teachers.
  • HSC exams will be delayed until 9 November with a revised timetable and guidelines for a COVID-safe HSC to be released by NESA in early September.
  • Double doses of COVID vaccinations will be mandatory for any staff on school sites from 25 October and for all school staff from 8 November. We are encouraging all corporate staff to get vaccinated with whatever vaccine is available to them as soon as possible.

Dear colleagues

Thank you for your ongoing incredible work to support our schools as they have moved to learning from home over the past few months.

Today, the NSW Government has announced our COVID-safe return-to-school plan to provide our schools and communities with greater clarity. It is the certainty we need to guide our efforts from now until the end of the year.

Developed in close partnership with NSW Health, the plan puts student and staff safety squarely at the centre of our decision-making – promoting a staggered return to school sites under COVID-safe conditions.

COVID-safe pathways to return to school

In line with state vaccination milestones, and a gradual easing of general community restrictions, student cohorts – starting with Kindergarten and Year 1 – will begin face-to-face learning from Monday 25 October under Level 3 plus operations, as long as community transmission and vaccination rate requirements have been met.

Other cohorts will then return to school sites under the same COVID-safe conditions in the following order:

  • Year 2, 6, and 11 – from 1 November.
  • Year 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 – from 8 November.

Year 12 students and those completing their HSC are already able to return in a limited way and this will continue for the remainder of Term 3. From 25 October, these students will have full-time access to school campuses and their teachers.

Importantly, if stay-at-home rules are lifted in a local government area (LGA) or region before 25 October – for example, in parts of regional NSW – all students living or learning in that area will return to face-to-face learning under the department’s existing COVID-safe Level 3 setting as previously established.

HSC exams delayed

HSC exams will be delayed until 9 November with a revised timetable and guidelines for a COVID-safe HSC to be released by NESA in early September. All students sitting their HSC will receive priority vaccination if they are eligible.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations for all school-based staff and preschool staff – across all sectors – will be mandatory from 8 November and for any staff member on site from 25 October. We are encouraging all corporate staff to book in whatever vaccine is available to them by this date.

I know today’s announcement presents many more changes for our school staff to begin planning for. I want to thank you all for your efforts to support our students, schools and each other.

Kind regards
Georgina Harrisson
Secretary

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