Students and teachers return to class

Local students will return to school from next week after the state reached its 70 per cent vaccination target.

On Monday, October 18, preschool, kindergarten, and Year 1 students will be the first to return to school sites.

Year 12 students will be able to access school, as needed, to prepare for their HSC examinations.

From Monday, October 25, all remaining year groups will return to school together, bringing the return of the final cohort forward a week from November 1.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell, said schools were ready to welcome students back.

“The return remains safe and sensible with enough time for schools to prepare for a faster return of students over two weeks instead of three,” Mitchell said.

“Principals have received detailed guidance and checklists of everything required to ensure COVID-safe settings in their school.

“Parents and carers will also receive a detailed guide and more specific information from their school in the coming days.”

Schools will begin their staggered return to face to face learning on Monday, October 18, one week earlier than initially planned, thanks to vaccination take-up rates in NSW.

All adults at school sites, including employees, contractors, volunteers and essential visitors, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 8.

Adults that are required to support the staged return to school in October will be required to have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine by that date.

Masks will be mandatory for all staff and all students in Year 7 and above while they are indoors and outdoors on school sites unless eating or exercising.

NSW Health said they strongly recommended masks for primary students both indoors and outdoors unless eating or exercising.

Maisy Rae