New South Wales public schools have been provided with updated guidelines to help them manage the 2021 return to school in a COVID-safe way.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the main update to the guidelines was that parents and carers of children in Kindergarten, and Years 1, 2 and 7 would be able to enter school grounds on the first day to drop off their children in a COVID-safe way.
“The first day of school is an incredibly important day, especially for those children starting Kindergarten. I am so thrilled that despite the challenges of the pandemic, parents and carers will be able to take part in this milestone event in their child’s life in a COVID-safe way,” Mitchell said.
“Parents and carers attending on day one and beyond are urged to follow COVID-safe practices, which include physical distancing, hygiene practices and not to mingle in or outside the school.”
The NSW Government has worked hard to get the balance right for day one of school to ensure schools provide relevant information to families about the processes prior.
Parents, staff and student are not required to wear face masks at school, but in line with public health orders, masks must be worn by those aged 12 years and over on any public transport.
Similarly, students aged 12 and over must comply with the public health orders around masks at all other relevant locations within the community, and also during external school activities.
Parents are asked to avoid coming on to school grounds unless the visit complies with the current school guidelines, such as volunteering at the school canteen or visiting the uniform shop.
In addition, schools can still plan for sporting carnivals, excursions and overnight camps, and special events such as concerts, with a COVID safety plan in place.