Sydney (Tribune International, NSW Education Release, 6 Aug 2021); A flexible operating model for schools across Greater Sydney has been announced today, providing the opportunity for HSC students to access their schools safely from August 16.
Under the model, secondary schools will operate under an updated COVID safety plan, jointly developed by NSW Health and Education, to provide opportunities for essential curriculum delivery, wellbeing support and check-ins for HSC students as they complete their final year.
School assessments and trial exams will be completed at home across all schools in Greater Sydney.
Individual school plans will leverage their physical spaces and timetables to minimise mixing between students and support physical distancing and will only involve small groups of students at any one time. Clear guidelines will be provided to schools so they can create their plans.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the government would continue to follow health advice while prioritising HSC students to access their schools for essential education and wellbeing support where this cannot be delivered online.
“Education is essential, and we must provide our HSC students the opportunity to receive the curriculum and wellbeing support they need during the last few months of their schooling,” Ms Mitchell said.
“A comprehensive and flexible model will allow schools to provide HSC students essential lessons and check-ins with teachers sensibly and safely.”
HSC students living or learning in the eight LGAs of concern (Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta) will not return to school yet. HSC students from the LGAs of concern will also not return to school if they go to school outside those LGAs. Schools in the areas of concern will be asked to prepare for HSC students’ return in the coming weeks, allowing time for their vaccinations to be given and take effect.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said vaccines are essential to our recovery.
“The vaccination hub for HSC students living or learning in the eight LGAs opens on Monday, and we strongly encourage every eligible student to take up the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Mr Hazzard said.
Qudos Bank Arena will be available from 9 August as a vaccination hub for Year 12 students in the eight local government areas of concern.