I have always stated my support for a person’s choice – as I believe everyone should have that basic right (unless it impacts the greater good). It is timely we advise our community of our position on COVID risk management. The emphasis is on managing any forecasted issue.
To operate as a registered and accredited school, although we are independent, we must abide by the Australian Education Act and the NSW State legislation, managed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).
All schools in NSW must be registered and/or accredited.
All schools must abide by the governments’ (federal and state) legislation.
As a non-government school, we are supported by The Association of Independent Schools. The AISNSW held a state-wide meeting of all principals/heads of independent schools. That meeting was attended by Kerry Chant of NSW Health, a representative of Minter Ellison (legal) and a representative of AON (schools’ insurer).
As the Conductor (principal), I am legally deemed the ‘responsible person’ and with that comes great responsibility.
Only staff members who are double vaccinated – unless they submit a medical contraindication certificate – can teach or support the school onsite. This includes teachers, administration, aides, outdoor education staff, volunteers, tutors, drivers… anyone who interacts with our students. The emphasis is on our Work Health and Safety commitments, which extend beyond the Public Health Order. We have been advised of our responsibilities by the Association of Independent Schools.
All staff must submit evidence of their vaccination record to the Conductor, and the school will keep a record that evidence has been sighted.
Living School will review this position if the guidance by the Association of Independent Schools, NSW changes.
EVERY school in NSW is under the same compliance requirements.
Our Procedure for Dealing with a COVID Case at Living School
Living School will adhere to a standard procedure in the case of any COVID cases present at the school:
- immediate closure,
- deep cleaning while contact tracing,
- isolation of all close contacts for at least 5 days.
- a negative PCR test on day 6 to return to school.
LATEST advice (Wednesday 15 December 2021)
students and staff identified as close contacts will only be required to isolate for 7 days instead of 14. This is the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff. These changes mean that students and staff who are currently in isolation as close contacts will be able to end their isolation period after 7 days, following a negative Day 6 PCR test
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all staff need to be vaccinated?
As advised to us by the AISNSW, Minter Ellison and Aon insurers, the focus going forward will be on our WHS requirements – not the Public Health Order. Under our WHS commitments, a school is required to ensure the health and safety of staff and students. A reasonable measure in complying with health obligations is to ensure vaccinations are implemented as a control measure of the highest benefit.
Can the school – as an independent school – just ignore these directives?
All schools are under the legislation of the state and federal governments – with the Australian Education Act and the regulations authorised by the NSW Government and managed by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). Schools that do not comply are not able to be registered nor accredited. The directives are the same for all schools in NSW.