COVID-Smart Measures For Local Schools

24 Jan 2022 education covid19

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today reminded local parents and caregivers that local school students will return to school under COVID-smart settings that will minimise the risk of the virus and allow teachers and students to return safely to the classroom.

Mr Ward said that this is part of the new measures every student and teacher in NSW Government and Non-Government schools will be able to receive rapid antigen test (RAT) kits before school returns on 1st February 2022.

"The NSW Government is distributing more than 12 million RATs to over 3,150 Government and Non-Government schools including those across our region, and early childhood centres, to assist with surveillance testing of staff and students," he said.

The COVID-Smart Plan to keep schools open and students safe includes:

  • Twice a week surveillance testing for primary and high school students, school staff and early childhood staff. Surveillance testing will be undertaken for the first four weeks of term, with two weeks of supply distributed before term starts;
  • Mandatory mask wearing for all staff and high school students, with masks encouraged for children in primary schools;
  • Limiting interaction between year groups;
  • Limiting visitors to those providing essential curriculum and wellbeing support;
  • COVID-safe settings in place for music, sport and excursions;
  • Maximising natural and mechanical ventilation, with air purifiers dispatched to where they are needed; and
  • Contingency plans in place to manage any disruptions to the workforce.

"The first few weeks of term will be challenging but these measures put us in the best position possible to manage any disruption," Mr Ward said.

"Parents need to monitor for symptoms and keep their children home and test if they become symptomatic.

"Local families will be notified by their schools on how and when to collect the RAT kits for their children.

“I am also pleased to see that the NSW Government has worked closely with Victoria to create plans that achieve the same important goals which is seeing our students learning in their classrooms safely and with minimal disruption.

“Clinical evidence suggests the Omicron variant is milder and less likely to result in serious illness, particularly amongst children, and that vaccines, especially boosters, are effective in protecting our local communities,” Mr Ward concluded.

Download the information sheet for local parents and students here

More information on the return to school settings for NSW public schools is available at: