Sydney (Tribune International, NSW Education & Childhood Release, 11 Sept 2020): Guidelines for school formals and graduation ceremonies have been provided to school principals today to assist with managing the one off events in a COVID safe way.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said she was thrilled students would be able to enjoy the end year celebrations.

“Our students have done a fantastic job this year staying focused and working towards their final exams,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I urge people to follow the directions of their schools and venues and respect public health orders, particularly when planning after events.”

Formals and graduations can take place from November 12, the day after the last HSC written exam.

Ms Mitchell said it was important to reduce disruption to the final exams and it was great students could still celebrate once the exams had concluded.

“With less than six weeks to the start of the HSC exams, students can focus on their final studies knowing that there will be official opportunities to celebrate their schooling,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We are encouraging schools to use strategies that discourage spontaneous crowding, including when arriving or leaving the event.”

“Students should restrict the number of guests they bring to graduation events, and schools are encouraged to live-stream these ceremonies for anyone not able to attend.”

The guidelines suggest mingling before and after events should be avoided, private transport options considered and existing restrictions on catering need to be adhered to.

Additionally, the guidelines ask schools to:

  • Reduce mingling and attendance where possible
  • Hold dancefloors outside or in well ventilated areas
  • Dancing with partners from outside the school community is allowed only if partners are from the same local community and have an established relationship and normally socialises with the student cohort
  • Ensure the capacity of the event does not exceed four square metres per attendee
  • Restrict tables to 10 people
  • Students to bring your own pens for yearbook signing
  • Follow and promote good hand hygiene practices


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