Supporting the independent education community

COVID-19 and returning to school

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Principals and their staff are dealing with a range of issues in relation to COVID, WHS and the return to school.


The IEU recognises that principal members are committed to positive relationships with their staff and to effective consultation about the practicalities of the return of students and about WHS issues such as ventilation and air quality. 


Our union is also aware of the frustrations arising from frequent changes to NSW Government advice and the sometimes unclear or inconsistent messaging from some employers. 

As always, the IEU is happy to engage with and support our principal members as Term 4 unfolds within the context of the NSW Public Health Order affecting schools and other return to school issues in the ACT.


Some of the issues facing schools now or as more students return include:


  • managing student movement and the adoption of a cohort model to minimise student contact and mingling 
  • arrangements for parents and carers to ensure COVID safe drop off and pick up processes 
  • dealing with other visitors who come on site, including specialist staff and contractors 
  • ventilation and air quality assessment and management 
  • cleaning and COVID safe hygiene practices  
  • mask wearing requirements for staff and students where mandated/appropriate, and 
  • vaccination requirements for staff and the encouragement of vaccination for students over the age of 12. 

Most of these issues are being addressed by principals in conjunction with their employers such as dioceses or school boards and the IEU is always pleased to assist with advocacy to ensure that principals receive the information, advice and resources they need at this complex time.

The IEU values our principal members and looks forward to working with you to achieve the best possible outcomes for you and your staff.