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NSW Department of Education COVID-19 Advice for families | Term 1 2021

The NSW Department of Education has updated its COVID-19 Advice for families for Term 1.  Below is a summary of changes relating to guidelines for parents, carers and P&C Associations. The full guidelines can be read here. 

P&C Federation advice on holding P&C Association meetings during Covid-19 can be found here.

What has changed 

  • Parents and carers can enter the school to: 
    • purchase or pick up uniforms from the uniform shop, or to tend to canteen and uniform shop duties
    • meet with school staff with an appointment 
    • drop off students for Preschool, Kindergarten and Years 1, 2 and 7  
    • attend parent orientation meetings for Department Preschools, Kindergarten or Year 7 and ‘meet the teacher’ meetings with school staff for all year/stage groups. Meetings should be limited to 1 hour where possible. A COVID-19 Safety Plan must be in place. 
  • Gatherings are limited to 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors for schools within Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong or 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors for all other locations.*
  • Students must not attend school if they are unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms. Students must return a negative COVID-19 test and be symptom free prior to returning to school.
  • P&C meetings can be held after school hours with a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Gatherings are limited to 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors for schools within Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong. For regional and rural schools, up to 50 people can meet indoors or 100 people outdoors.*
  • Community outdoor social events and functions can proceed after school hours with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. These are limited to 50 people outdoors for schools within Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong or 100 people outdoors for all other locations.* 

Additional Advice 

  • Students and staff are not required to wear a face mask while at school. Families and staff should adhere to the NSW Health advice regarding masks. Masks are not mandatory for parents and carers visiting schools, provided they maintain physical distancing and hygiene practices while on site.
  • Water fountains and bubblers in schools can now be turned on. However, students are still encouraged to bring water bottles that they can refill throughout the day.  
  • From Term 1 2021, all NSW public schools use the Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in. Look for the COVID Safe QR code posters when you enter your child’s school. Be sure to sign in at the school administration building according to your school’s visitor guidelines. 

We will continue to keep you informed about updates from the NSW Department of Education about COVID-19 Advice for families. 

Contact P&C Federation office

Please contact P&C Federation if you want anything clarified, on 1300 885 982 or mail@pandc.org.au

You may also review the NSW Government’s What you can and can’t do under the rules

* NOTE: The first version of this article stated that P&C meetings and other gatherings were limited to 30 people indoors and 30 people outdoors for schools within Greater Sydney, or 100 people outdoors for all other locations. However, the Department of Education amended this advice on 29 January following a new public health order, and we have amended this article to reflect this. 

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