Mid North Coast school students could return to face-to-face learning much sooner than their city counterparts.
A joint statement today (Friday) by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell confirmed that if stay at home orders are lifted in a local government area (LGA) or region, all students living or learning in that area will return to face to face learning under the department's COVID-safe schools framework.
This follows yesterday's announcement that regional NSW would remain in lockdown for another two weeks - ending Friday September 13 - in an measure aimed at protecting regions and communities.
Similarly, if cases in certain LGAs increase significantly, learning from home will resume for that LGA until case numbers drop.
Today the State government also HSC exams will be delayed until November and vaccinations for school staff will be mandatory based on the return to school plan.
The Department of Education has developed a plan to bring students back in a COVID-safe way while stay at home orders are still in place - "ensuring continuity of education, and protecting student, teacher and community safety."
Schools will return to face-to-face learning either through a 'staged return' or 'full return', depending on NSW Health conditions in their area, the department says.
"When stay-at-home rules are still in place but other community vaccination and transmission conditions are met, students will return to school in a staged way," the department website stated. "This is a staggered return for prioritised cohorts, with no mingling or on-site activities."
This "staggered return" will begin on Monday, October 25 for those schools affected.
HSC exams will be delayed until November 9 with a revised timetable and guidelines for a COVID-safe HSC to be released by NESA in early September. This delay will not disadvantage NSW students when applying to university, the department confirmed.
Vaccinations for all school staff across all sectors will be mandatory from November 8.
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