Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Education and Training

    Updated advice for schools on assemblies and large gatherings

    4/02/2022 2:50 PM
     
    • Schools advised to limit in-school gatherings of students and staff to single class groups or small groups within a year level
    • New advice to further minimise the number of students or staff impacted by the presence of a positive case of COVID-19
    • Response to updated health advice on large in-school gatherings complements Safe Return to School Plan

    The State Government has released new advice for all Western Australian schools on in-school gatherings to further minimise the number of students and staff impacted by the presence of a person who may be COVID-19 positive but not yet showing symptoms.

     

    The Chief Health Officer has advised that schools should limit in-school gatherings of students and staff to class groups or small groups within a year level.

     

    The new advice for gatherings on school sites outline examples of how regular meetings and events can safely be conducted, including:

    • class-based assemblies or small group assemblies within a year group;
    • online staff meetings;
    • staff collaborative planning via online or in learning area teams; and
    • staff lunch breaks in learning area facilities wherever possible.

    Infrequent special events such as interschool carnivals, camps and school balls can go ahead at this stage, in line with the health advice.

     

    However, as previously announced, public health measures may be stepped up in line with high caseloads in the community. These measures would include specific close contact definitions for all schools and new isolation and testing protocols for school-based close contacts.

     

    The new advice complements the McGowan Government's Safe Return to School Plan which includes:

    • a ventilation strategy;
    • enhanced cleaning services;
    • workforce and remote learning contingency plans in public schools;
    • mask wearing for secondary students, school staff and other adults in line with the mask mandate currently in place for the Perth, Peel, South-West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions; and
    • mandatory vaccinations for school employees and regular visitors.

    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

               

    "Keeping schools safe and open to provide face-to-face learning are our priorities.

     

    "The response to any case of COVID-19 in a school takes the particular circumstances and public health risk into account, but there is now a range of measures in place in schools to minimise the risk of transmission.

     

    "Combined with the additional measures introduced through the State Government's Safe Return to School Plan ahead of Term 1, this updated advice for schools will help to minimise the number of students or staff impacted by the presence of a positive case.

     

    "Importantly, schools will continue to provide students with quality teaching and learning as we take sensible and proportionate actions to respond to the changing environment we are living in with COVID-19."

     

    Minister's office 6552 5700