Greater clarity needed around return to school

Tuesday, 11 January, 2022

Greater clarity needed around return to school

More clarity is needed from the NSW Government around returning to school with such high COVID infection rates, said the Independent Education Union.

The union is calling for consultation and clarity from the government as teachers, support staff and students prepare for the return to school.

Given the current high COVID infection rates, the union expects the government and employers to work together on WHS provisions such as:

  • ventilation in classrooms;
  • student vaccination;
  • access to COVID testing;
  • booster shots for school staff; and
  • the impact of potential staff shortages.

“If teachers and support staff require a booster to be fully vaccinated, what is the proposed timeline and what support will be in place to ensure they can access this vaccination?” said Pam Smith, Acting Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch.

The IEU is ready to work together with employers and the state government to make the return to school as streamlined as possible, but said there must be consultation every step of the way, and that the resources and support to help teachers and other educational staff get back to work safely need to be in place.

“At the moment, the situation is confusing for teachers, employers, parents and the union,” Smith said.

“It is critical that everyone’s health and safety is protected; otherwise, the return to school could turn into a superspreader event.”

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