- Based on the latest health advice, Term 2 school settings detailed
- One million additional RATs will be provided to public and non-government schools
- Parents and carers to be allowed on education sites for outside school drop-off, face to face parent-teacher meetings, attending year group assemblies, volunteering outside of classrooms (e.g. in canteen, uniform shop) and visits to residential facilities
- Protocols relaxed for events on and off school sites, with the exception of those deemed higher-risk by the Chief Health Officer
In line with the current health advice, public health measures at Western Australian schools will be eased for the start of Term 2, with one million more Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to be distributed to public and non-government schools.
The decision to ease COVID-19 measures in schools is based on the latest health advice and comes as WA remains on course for a soft landing through the Omicron wave.
WA's easing of public health measures for schools include:
- Provision of one million additional RATs for school staff to use on an as-need basis;
- Parents are allowed on school sites for outside school pick-up and drop-off, face to face parent-teacher meetings, attending year group assemblies, volunteering in roles outside of classrooms e.g. canteen, and uniform shop, and infrequent special events (in line with community venue capacity and density limits);
- In-school special events bigger than a single class size can be held with masks and physical distancing;
- Single year-group assemblies can be held in line with mask requirements;
- Parents and carers can visit residential facilities, with proof of vaccination (if required), mask wearing and physical distancing;
- Parents are allowed to spectate at indoor and outdoor sporting events, performances and other interschool events with masks and physical distancing; and
- Gatherings of parents/carers can occur (P&Cs) with mask wearing.
Critical Worker protocols and school mask requirements for students in Year 3 and above remain unchanged.
School camps remain postponed at this time due to the COVID-19 transmission and disruption to learning risks, with the State Government continuing to roll out its $3.5 million School Camps COVID-19 Assistance Package to support school camp operators and encourage public schools to undertake day camps.
Parents and carers attending school sites must wear a mask and adhere to physical distancing where possible.
In response to changing circumstances, the Chief Health Officer has also reduced the level of information that schools must report from today. For example, in public schools the number of fields that schools have to fill out when reporting details of a positive case has been reduced from 21 to 7, and they will only identify close contacts within their school.
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"Keeping schools and residential facilities open and safe remain our top priorities heading into Term 2.
"So far, the 2022 school year has been challenging for school staff and families, and I would like to acknowledge their efforts and commitment to keeping students learning in the safest environment possible.
"The adjusted measures strike the right balance between reducing the spread of Omicron, keeping schools operating to provide face-to-face learning and keeping families connected with their child's school.
"This announcement provides school staff and families with a level of certainty as they head into the school holidays, and helps them to prepare for Term 2.
"I encourage parents to use this timely information about the revised measures to plan for Term 2, and do what they can to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 while their children are on break to ensure a smooth return to school."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"Since the start of this Omicron outbreak schools have adapted quickly to public health and social measures to keep our children safe and I'd like to thank staff, students and parents for taking these challenging circumstances in their stride.
"Our schools have been experiencing a high level of cases for several weeks now, but it is a tribute to all involved that we have not needed to resort to online learning as we saw in some other States and Territories.
"The changes we are announcing today will ensure we start Term 2 with the right mix of measures that both protect our students for this next phase of the Omicron wave, while allowing important activities such as school balls to safely resume.
"We continue to see vaccination rates in our children increase which is the best protection we can offer them."
Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Health Minister's office - 6552 5900