COVID Update

As we commence our preparations for another hope-filled school year, we acknowledge the concern of our school communities with the continuing presence of COVID within the state. Uncertainty regarding school COVID protocols remains, and at this time, CECV and CEB have not received any formal advice from the Victorian Government regarding the commencement of the school year.   

We await the updated School Operations Guide (SOG) from the Department of Education (DET) and the CECV and will be shared with you as soon as possible.  We anticipate this will coincide with the commencement of the term. 

To assist schools in planning for a safe return to school, any information that becomes available before then will be shared promptly.  In the meantime, we provide the following advice-: 

Close contacts

With the change to the definition of close contacts, i.e., to household or household-like contacts only, schools will not be required to compile the contact information (spreadsheet) for the Department of Health as we did last year. 

For household or household-like contacts: 

  • Where someone has spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation, or care facility. 
  • You must quarantine for 7 days. 
  • You must get tested on Day 1 of quarantine (or as soon as possible) and get tested again on Day 6 of quarantine - with a rapid antigen test or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test. 
  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result. Visit Reporting your result page for more information. 
  • Household or household-like contacts are also referred to as close contacts. 

For education and workplace contacts: 

  • Where someone who has COVID-19 has informed you that you are their social contact, or a workplace or education facility has informed you that you are a workplace or education contact.  
  • If you have symptoms, you must use a rapid antigen test or get a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test. 
  • If you don't have symptoms, you are recommended to use a daily rapid antigen test for 5 days.   
  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result. Visit Reporting your result page for more information.  
  • If you don’t have symptoms and cannot access a rapid antigen test, then monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms emerge.  

We anticipate the Schools Operation Guide and DET advice will provide further guidance regarding instances of school-based exposure.   

You can also refer to the coronavirus.vic.gov.au contact checklist for further information.  Note, if you are a confirmed case you need to follow the checklist for cases 

Access to Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and N-95 Masks

You will be aware the demand for access to RATs and N-95 Face Masks has been greater than supply.  We understand that a supply of RATs will be made available for education staff and students and at this stage we have not been informed when the RATs will be delivered.  We continue to work with CECV to ensure these supplies are made as early as possible.  We are unclear about the intended provision of N-95 masks, however if you can secure a basic supply for members of your staff, this may be advisable for the start of the year. 

Face masks

Wearing a mask is required for everyone aged 8 and above in all indoor settings in Victoria (unless an exception applies, such as when in a home, when consuming food or drink, or when receiving beauty services). 

CHO advice strongly recommends wearing a mask if you can’t physically distance, even if you are outdoors, have any symptoms, or if you are with people who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.    For more information regarding where face masks are required and exceptions for not wearing a face mask refer to the updated information at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/face-masks-when-wear-face-mask. 

The Vic Gov Coronavirus website provides a range of posters informing everyone of mask and other requirements.  You can download these for free (in a range of languages) via https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/signs-posters-and-templates#business-display-posters-and-flyers. 

General Advice regarding COVID safe schools

We understand there are questions about upcoming PD, inductions, parent/teacher meetings and a range of other activities and events taking place over the next few weeks.  In the absence of an updated SOG, we trust that principals will make informed decisions under their delegated authority as leaders of their schools. 

It is not advisable to conduct whole school assemblies or liturgies at the start of the year. There is also merit in considering whether staff meetings could be conducted online. Equally, schools will need to consider whether events that may bring families onsite and into close proximity with staff and one another are essential or if alternatives exist.  

For all other activities, we advise that until further guidance is received, principals consider the merit of each event/activity and the context in which it is to occur, asking yourself: 

  • Is the activity essential to support the students? 
  • Can it be delivered/undertaken differently (online, written correspondence etc.)? 
  • Can it be postponed/rescheduled? 

If the event/activity is essential but can be delivered in an alternate way or postponed, we recommend you do so for now.  

If the event/activity is essential and cannot be delivered in an alternate way or postponed, proceed ensuring you make it a COVID Safe event/activity adhering to current Victorian Government advice (e.g., face masks, distancing and density requirements, access to handwashing/sanitiser etc.).  

Consideration may be given to holding the event/activity outdoors rather than indoors, reducing the duration and/or limiting attendance numbers. 

Please do not hesitate to contact your Education Consultant for further support. 

Planning for Potential Staffing Shortfalls Due to Isolation Requirements 

A number of concerns have already been raised regarding possible shortfalls in staffing should increasing numbers of staff need to isolate due to Covid and the school’s inability to replace staff due to shortfalls in CRT numbers. With this in mind, we would like to run a series of Video Conference catchups with the principals in each zone to start capturing some ideas of how we might deal with this situation should it arise.  

The first of these will be held on Tuesday, 25 January at 10.00 am. We are aware that you are still on holiday, so we do invite you to join if you are available. We felt that it was important to attend to this sooner rather than later as it is already causing angst for some principals. We also thought it would be good to get in early. So please note, attendance at this first video conference is purely invitational. 

You will receive a video meeting invite from the following:

  • Southern Zone Primary – Eugene Dalton 
  • Central Zone Primary – Lee Schlooz 
  • Northern Zone Primary – Matt Byrne 
  • Secondary – Tim O’Farrell 

For this online meeting, could you please give some consideration to; 

  • What might be some of the possible solutions should you have a number of staff away and you are unable to replace them with CRTs? 
  • Is there scope for schools to network and “share” staff to fill gaps? 
  • At what point do you feel children/classes may need to be sent home or schools closed due to inability to fully staff? 

All ideas will be collated.  There will be a second online meeting on Thursday, 27 January, at 2.00 pm. We want all principals to attend this meeting, and at this time, we will be able to share any updates as well as the suggestions gained from the previous meeting. Invites will be sent out to you. 

There will also be an opportunity at these meetings to ask any other “Covid related” return to school questions that we may be able to answer or take on notice. 

Non-compliance with the Mandatory Vaccination Directions

In December 2021, in preparation for the commencement of the 2022 school year, we provided template letters for principals to share with staff who did not, at that time, meet the Mandatory Vaccination Directions.   The template advised those staff that they are required to inform the principal of their intentions about complying with the vaccination directions and DOBCEL vaccination policy or to provide the principal with evidence of receiving the vaccine by Thursday, 20 January 2022.   The template noted that failure to provide this information means the employee is unable to attend onsite at the commencement of Term 1 2022 (27 January 2022). 

To finalise this process, we ask principals with staff who have not provided evidence of compliance with the Mandatory Vaccination Directions to complete the Google Form by Thursday, 27 January 2022.  The CEB HR Team (Maree Baker and Jo Huntley), with the relevant Education Consultant, will work with those principals regarding the next steps. 

Recording of Staff vaccination status

Please ensure all other staff record their vaccination information into the PRS (CEVN) or eHR (ICON) per the Executive Director’s COVID Update #117 (10 November) by Monday, 31 January 2022, to enable all DOBCEL and CECV reporting obligations to be met.  Please also remind staff to update this for future COVID vaccinations (boosters) or exemptions. 

Details on recording vaccination information and reporting are available via Update #117. 

Published on: 19 Jan 2022
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Next COVID Update

We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with the COVID Support team (see left hand column) or your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and continue to look after each other…

Every blessing. 

Ange Jones
Assistant Director: People and Development

 

Published on: 19 Jan 2022
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Loving God,  
Our creator, our saviour, our companion,  
bless this journey of a new school year that we undertake together.
Refresh our souls 
and renew our spirits 
as we embrace the beautiful ministry you have called us to in 2022.  
Bless each of us for the many gifts we have been given and for the privileges that our leadership roles bring.    
Lord, make our hearts pure as we prepare for the return of students and staff to the schools throughout the Diocese of Ballarat next week,  
and may you guide us and them to return with open hearts and minds eager to learn and teach. Help us to be strong and courageous; and be with us wherever we go this year. 
We ask this in Your name,  
Amen 

~ The Corrymeela Community

Happy New Year and welcome to those who join our diocesan community for the first time.  As we prepare to commence another school year, we look forward to collaborating in the spirit of the Gospel in 2022 and working together to support the needs of our amazing students, families and staff.   

As Principals, with the team at CEB, we continue to navigate educational leadership in extraordinary times and our school communities provide an extraordinary ministry as places of consistency, confidence and hope amidst the many other challenges of life. 

Published on: 19 Jan 2022
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COVID Update

Positive Start Program 2022

You will have recently heard the announcement of a new initiative designed to boost students’ physical and emotional health and wellbeing in the new school year. 

The Victorian Government’s Positive Start in 2022 initiative will invest $112.9 million to support government and low fee non-government schools to provide additional camps, sports programs, swimming programs and cultural experiences for students following disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Over the past two years, students have missed out on many of those extra-curricular activities that are such an important part of school life and their whole education.

Positive Start in 2022 is about encouraging students to be more active and to enjoy more time reconnecting with friends and making new ones. The initiative will give students the opportunity to engage in the wealth of experiences that Victoria has to offer – experiences that can enrich their lives in school and beyond, and help create lasting memories.

Through Positive Start, students will have more opportunities to attend camps with their peers and enjoy adventure activities such as abseiling, canoeing and rope courses. They will be able to visit museums, zoos, and galleries, and get involved in the visual arts, music production, drama and sport workshops.

CECV has prepared an FAQ for the program, as a starting point.

No action is needed at this time. DET will provide further information, including how to access Positive Start programs and experiences in Term 1, 2022.   We will share this information with you as it becomes available.

 

Published on: 13 Dec 2021
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Accessing Critical Incident Support over the School Holiday Period

Catholic Education Ballarat’s (CEB) offices will be closed from 4pm on Friday 17 December, 2021 to Monday 10 January, 2022. To ensure continuity of service to schools, should an emergency or critical incident occur during this time, the following arrangements are in place, in keeping with the DOBCEL Emergency and critical Incident Management Policy.

Nature of incidentInitial responseFollow up Action
An incident or emergency that can be resolved at the local school levelPrincipal or their delegate to manage as usual according to the school Emergency Management Plan (EMP).Principal or their delegate to log an incident report via SIMON via the HINT tool.
A major or critical incident occurs that stretches school resources or experience

Principal or their delegate to phone Tom Sexton, Executive Director on mobile: 0448 512 831.

Tom activates the support of CEB’s Critical Incident Management team.

Note: from Monday 10 January, 2022 phone the CEB HR Team on mobile: 0436 460 275 to initiate Critical Incident Support or by email: critical.incident@dobcel.catholic.edu.au

Principal or their delegate to log an incident report via SIMON via the HINT tool.

Definitions

Emergency – a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action by the school or office location, drawing on their experience and available resources. This type of incident requires an immediate response because it can cause:

  • Injury/illness;
  • Asset/property and/or environmental damage;
  • Local negative media interest only; or
  • Disruption to workplace operations/recovery issues.

EMP Emergency Management Plan is a plan developed by each school or office location to guide how an Emergency is managed.

Major incident – any incident where the location, number, severity or type of injuries and/or property damage requires extraordinary resources, that is likely to stretch the school or office location’s experience and capacity to its limit.

Critical incident a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation that is beyond the experience or resources of a school or office location to manage without the assistance of CEB Directorate. These situations require immediate action to manage:

  • A life-threatening injury;
  • Significant asset/property and/or environmental damage;
  • Significant local and national media interest; or
  • Significant disruption to workplace operations/recovery issues.

Download this information as a one-page PDF.

Published on: 13 Dec 2021
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CEB Office Update

CEB Office Closure Period

All Catholic Education Ballarat offices will close at 4pm on Friday 17 December, 2021 and reopen on Monday 10 January, 2022.

New Ballarat Office Details

Please be advised that the Ballarat CEB office is relocating to Gillies Street North and will open on Monday 17 January, 2022

The new street address and postal address will both be:
200 Gillies Street North, Lake Wendouree, VIC 3350
Map location

The new office phone number will be: 03 4344 4350


Download a one-page PDF of CEB 2022 contact and location details to print.

Published on: 13 Dec 2021
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COVID Update

COVID-19 Vaccination program – children aged 5-11 years

We understand that schools may be asked about the widening of the COVID-19 vaccination roll out program as it applies to children aged 5-11 years.  We have received no information regarding this from DET or CECV at this time.  You may find the following useful in responding to these questions if they arise.

  • There is no existing vaccine mandate for children, of any age. When children aged 12 and older became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Education and Training (DET) confirmed, that, “Vaccination is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged, except where your medical practitioner advises you otherwise. [Students, and their] parents/guardians or carers should speak with [their] GP or pharmacist if [they] have health questions.”
  • The Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Direction No. 10 part 3 (4) specific to education facilities, applies only to staff, contractors, volunteers, and any visitors who are not enrolled students. 
  • While we understand from media reports that the TGA has provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine for children between five and 11 years of age, there is no specific advice from the Department of Health or Victorian Government just yet. 
  • Catholic Education Ballarat (CEB) has not received details regarding the widening of the vaccination program at this stage. CEB continues to work closely with the DET and CECV regarding the advice of the Department of Health and the regulations and obligations provided by the CHO and Victorian Government. As information becomes available, we will continue to share this with you for your school communities to enable informed decisions.

Vaccination Status Update

Key dates for vaccine mandate compliance can be downloaded as a PDF, or click the below diagram to enlarge. 

Further to the Executive Director’s COVID Update #126 (25 Nov 2021) principals are required to have discussions with staff who have not complied with the Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Direction. Staff should be advised that if they have not received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the start of the new school year (or by the completion of their paid entitlement to long service leave, or personal leave as supported by medical evidence) that their employment may be jeopardised. 

The CEB HR team will support principals in these matters relevant to their circumstances including a guidance note for conversations and template letters.  If you have not received these templates and require them, please contact Jo Huntley (mobile 0429 598 163).

If you have not yet issued this letter to the employee(s) affected, please do so this week using the appropriate template letter. The conversation and subsequent letter are essential to ensure those employees are adequately informed of the circumstances and the possible impact on their future employment. The correspondence also requires those employees to inform the school if they intend to be fully vaccinated ahead of the 2022 school year, so the operational needs and impacts can be considered.

Please also ensure your online vaccination register is up to date via the PRS on CEVN or eHR for schools using ICON. Refer to Executive Director’s COVID Update #126 (25 Nov 2021) for guides on these registers. Casual staff and contractors’ vaccination status should continue to be recorded in a manual spreadsheet.

Published on: 09 Dec 2021
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Next COVID Update

We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with the COVID Support team (see left hand column) or your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and continue to look after each other…

Every blessing. 

Ange Jones
Assistant Director: People and Development

 

Published on: 09 Dec 2021
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God of the gum trees,
God of the glaahs:
the wildflowers are having
an absolute field day;
the kangaroos can’t believe their luck. Left to do what she does best, nature certainly shows off.
We, too, may see
which root emotion
will rise and come to flower.
We pray that instead
of the worry the world
has tried to plant,
it may be the hope
you sow inside.
Amen.

~ The Corrymeela Community

Published on: 09 Dec 2021
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Deputy Director Appointments

It is with a great sense of excitement that I announce the appointment of our two Deputy Directors for 2022 and beyond, Matthew Byrne and Megan Ioannou.

Matthew Byrne will be our new Deputy Director: Catholic Education. Matt comes to us from the principalship at Damascus College where he has been an outstanding strategic leader for the past 13 years. Matt has led the amalgamation of Damascus College from two campuses into one, the large capital works program at the Mount Clear site, and significant improvement of student outcomes during this time.

Matt has a deep understanding of Catholic Identity, Religious Education and Mission and has been a member of the DOBCEL ECSI Standing Committee. He is a very active member of the Ballarat East Parish.

As all those who know Matt could attest, he understands the importance of being part of a system of schools. He is very active within the Principals Association of Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools (PAVCSS), including his former role on the executive of PAVCSS and as current Chair of our diocesan Secondary Principal’s network.

Matt lives, and actively participates, in the local Ballarat community and has worked hard to establish and maintain close connections with the Central Zone schools over time. He has experience in a number of school settings in our diocese and previously in the Sandhurst diocese.

Matt grew up on a farm between Boort and Charlton. He attended Boort Primary School and Boort Secondary College. He is married to Julie and they have four children; Thomas, Grace, Xavier and Ruby.

Matt clearly has a deep connection and commitment to, and understanding of, our diocese. He will share his time between Damascus College and CEB throughout term 1, 2022. This will enable him to continue to support the strategic work of the college, transference of governance and to allow for a smooth transition process to the next principal.

Megan Ioannou will be our first Deputy Director: Stewardship. Megan has more than 20 years’ experience in Catholic Education and would be known to many of you in her current capacity as Director, Planning & Infrastructure and Company Secretary Catholic Capital Grants (Vic) Ltd (CCG), responsible for the approval and oversight of every capital project funded across Catholic Education in Victoria, through the Federal and State governments over the past 11 years. Megan has high level knowledge and experience in governance, risk and assurance, future provision and people and development. She is a proven strategic leader, highly relational and has consistently delivered high quality results in all areas of her portfolio with CCG and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS). Megan was the part of the MACS executive leadership team for many years and has been the company secretary of CCG since 2006.

Megan brings a wealth of knowledge and strong network links across Australia, including at Federal and State government level and Catholic sectors. Without doubt Megan would be one of the most respected and credentialed in her field.

Megan is an active member of her local parish with a strong commitment to her faith and furthering Catholic Identity and Mission within her work.

Megan grew up on a farm near Ballan and attended primary school at St Brigid’s Primary School, Ballan before attending Loreto College for her secondary education. She is married to Andrew and they have two adult children; Kate and Josh.

Megan is looking forward to beginning work at CEB at the start of 2022.

As Executive Director I am very pleased to have Matt and Megan joining the CEB Directorate team. They are both highly strategic and relational leaders with a deep commitment to our Catholic Education mission. Their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm will add significant value to our diocese and I look forward to 2022 to with great hope, excitement and energy for the work ahead.

Tom Sexton
Executive Director, Catholic Education Ballarat

Published on: 07 Dec 2021
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Severe Weather Warning

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached for your consideration the latest fire & heat intelligence briefing from the Grampians Regional Emergency Management Team. Statewide, there is potential for thunderstorm activity with low-moderate thunderstorm asthma risk. The attached PDF includes a map of the areas that may be impacted by the severe weather and the elevated fire danger areas across our school zones. The map also provides a seven (7) day forecast that may be relevant to any of our schools with camps, excursions or outdoor education activities arranged between now and 8 December, 2021.

The Grampians Regional Emergency Management Team are not expecting damaging winds which will hopefully keep the thunderstorm asthma risk low.  However, based on the Fire Danger Index being greater than 35 for more than 10% of the Grampians region, emergency readiness arrangements are being put in place by Emergency Services Victoria for today’s predicted weather.

The weather prognosis from Friday into the weekend is relatively stable so arrangements will be BAU over the weekend.

Readiness Arrangements:

After discussions with the Regional Control Team yesterday at 1530hrs the following readiness arrangements are being implemented for today, given the potential weather impacts and effects on fire danger ratings:

  • Base Incident Management Team (IMT) will be in place at Horsham from 0900hrs 
  • Regional Control Team (RCT) will have members available remotely from 0900hrs.
  • Aircraft arrangements for today based on risk are being discussed with the State Response Controller 

Tom Sexton
Executive Director, Catholic Education Ballarat

Published on: 02 Dec 2021
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Complying with the Vaccination Mandate

His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said he believes ‘that morally everyone must take the vaccine … it is the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others’. He has described taking the vaccine as ‘an act of love’. Bishop Paul Bird, CSsR, has said ‘The basic reasons for vaccination are to protect our own health and the health of people around us.’ Bishop Paul noted, ‘I encourage everyone throughout our diocese to be vaccinated.’

All school staff are reminded of the key dates for compliance with the vaccination mandate, as applied to education facilities. It is important, that those staff who have not provided evidence of their full vaccination, or medical exemption, are advised of what this means including that they may be placing their employment in jeopardy if they do not meet the directions into 2022. It is important that we continue be respectful, transparent and provide those individuals with information regarding how this may impact on their employment.

CECV has provided further template to support principals in managing the situation where staff remain unvaccinated post 29 November 2021. Principals can contact Ange Jones or Jo Huntley to access these templates or for advice.

We will continue to closely monitor the advice of the Victorian Government, Department of Education & Training, and Department of Health regarding the specific details for Victorian schools and workplaces. We will communicate promptly if further, or different, information comes to light. 

DOBCEL’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy, aligned to the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions, should be distributed to all staff before the end of Term 4 (also available in eSORT). The policy should also be provided with any new contracts commencing in the 2022 school year.  The policy will be reviewed again in January 2022. 

Published on: 30 Nov 2021
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Updated School Operations Guide

The Term 4 School Operations Guide (SOG) was updated over the weekend and shared with principals via email.  The current version is available to download on CEVN.

Changes include:

  • Use of school facilities by community and sports groups – p. 2
  • Interschool sport (sport between schools) – p. 16
  • Excursions – p. 16
  • Camps – p. 16
  • Students, staff, and families arriving from overseas – p. 19
  • Face masks – p. 29
  • Management of contacts – p. 32

Summary of Key Operational Requirements

The updated Summary of Key Operational Requirements (p. 4) is below and can be downloaded as a one-page PDF.

Density Limits

The SOG still makes reference to density limits in some scenarios (e.g., staff areas on p. 28).  However, we can confirm that density limits have been lifted under the roadmap for Victoria as we hit 90% vaccination rates effective 11.59pm, 18 November 2021, where vaccination status and QR check in is managed such as by use of a COVID marshal. Staff, contractors and visitors are still required to register attendance meeting both requirements for QR scanning and vaccination status according to the table on p. 13 of the SOG.

Published on: 30 Nov 2021
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Next COVID Update

We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with the COVID Support team (see left hand column) or your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and continue to look after each other…

Every blessing. 

Ange Jones
Assistant Director: People and Development

 

Published on: 30 Nov 2021
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Published on: 30 Nov 2021
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Severe Weather Warning

DAMAGING SOUTH TO SOUTHEASTERLY WINDS, averaging 50 to 60 km/h with peak gusts of around 90 km/h, are expected across the Grampians and central ranges before extending to the eastern ranges this morning. Peak gusts of around 100 km/h are expected about the Alpine peaks. The risk of damaging winds will contract to eastern parts of the warning area later this afternoon then ease below warning thresholds by early Saturday morning.

Locations which may be affected include Seymour, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Daylesford, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.

For more information on the extreme weather events that may impact on Victoria today please follow the link to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology.

We are sending an early warning in response to principal feedback. An IRIS alert will follow. 

Should you require any assistance or support, please do not hesitate to contact your Education Consultant.

Tom Sexton
Executive Director, Catholic Education Ballarat

Published on: 26 Nov 2021
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Vaccination Status Update

A reminder that the second dose deadline for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Education Workers is this Monday, 29 November 2021. 

Schools with staff still requiring a second dose are reminded to ensure you receive a copy of their COVID vaccination certificate (or medical exemption) prior to 29 November 2021. If a staff member has their appointment on the 29 November, they must not attend the school site until that vaccination is complete.

Please ensure your online vaccination register is up to date no later than 30 November 2021 via the PRS on CEVN or eHR for schools using ICON. Refer to Executive Director’s COVID Update #101 (18 October 2021) for guides on these registers and report functions. Casual staff and contractors’ vaccination status should continue to be recorded in a manual spreadsheet.

DOBCEL principals are required email details to their Education Consultant and the CEB HR (via jhuntley@dobcel.catholic.edu.au) of any staff members who have not provided accepted evidence of their vaccination status (including medical exemption) by this date. 

Key Dates and Next Steps

Key dates for vaccine mandate compliance can be downloaded as a PDF, or click the below diagram to enlarge. 

Following, from 30 November 2021, principals are required to have discussions with staff who have not complied with this Direction and provide that they can remain on leave without pay or long service leave until the end of the school year and can access school holiday pay in line with their entitlements under the Victorian Catholic Multi-Enterprise Agreement 2018.

Staff should be advised that if they have not received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the start of the new school year (or by the completion of their paid entitlement to long service leave, or personal leave as supported by medical evidence), that their employment will be jeopardised.

The CEB HR team will support principals in these matters relevant to their circumstances, including a guidance note for conversations and template letters. 

LWOP Pro-Rata School Holiday Pay

Please be aware that the leave loading payments are due to be processed in the first payroll in December, therefore schools need to be conscious that there will be an impact on holiday and leave loading payments for any staff that have had more than 15 days Leave Without Pay (LWOP).

Please provide all relevant information to your payroll staff regarding leave for unvaccinated staff members as soon as possible to enable them to complete the appropriate pro-rata calculations.

Published on: 25 Nov 2021
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Next COVID Update

We will continue to monitor the situation and advise principals of any updates. Please liaise with the COVID Support team (see left hand column) or your Education Consultant with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and continue to look after each other…

Every blessing. 

Ange Jones
Assistant Director: People and Development

 

Published on: 25 Nov 2021
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God of daily bread,
God of simple pleasures:
we ask for enough for today.
Help us give ourselves
the very thing we need:
a walk to clear the head,
a phone call that draws a familiar voice, a brief exchange with a passer-by,
a gentle word of encouragement. These little things and their significance can be easily dismissed,
but it is often the non-grand gesture,
or an everyday routine,
or an in-the-moment whim
that reminds us that our God
was always there.
Amen.

~ The Corrymeela Community

Published on: 25 Nov 2021
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Updated Open Premises Directions

    Several principals have asked if the information in this email may be provided as a memo to make it easier to share with venues/premises. Please find attached a PDF memo, we hope may assist in this regard. (Note a hyperlink has been added to the Department of Education and Training comms for clarity.)

    The Open Premises Directions has now been updated and is available on the health.vic.gov.au website or can be downloaded here.

    In respect of Part 3, Clause 12 (page 6):

    • The amendment is broad in respect to education and childcare services, ages are not specified/limited for students.
    • The limited exception for ‘exclusive use by one school’ has been lifted, allowing for other schools or patrons to be on the premises at the same time.
    • Staff, parents, or other non-student attendees must comply with the vaccination requirements in part 2 and density limits in part 4.

    Part 3, clause 12 of the Open Premises Directions No. 6 states:

    Education and childcare services

    • (1) The obligations in Part 2 and the patron limits in Part 4 do not apply in relation to patrons who are enrolled in an education and childcare service and attend an open premises for the purpose of an activity including an excursion organised by the operator of that education and childcare service.
      Note: the obligations in Part 2 and patron limits in Part 4 still apply to staff, parents and other persons who are not enrolled with the education and childcare service and attend the open premises for the activity.

    For the purpose of the Open Premises Directions, education and childcare services means:

    • (a) school education at a registered school as defined in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006;
    • (b) onsite early childhood education and care services or children's services provided under the:
      • (i) Children's Services Act 1996 including limited hours services, budget based funded services, occasional care service, early childhood intervention services, and mobile services, but not including school holiday care programs; or
      • (ii) Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 and the Education and Care Services national Regulations 2011 including long day care services, kindergarten/preschool and family day care services, but does not include outside school hours care services;

    This amendment aligns to the advice received from the Department of Education and Training on 21 November 2021, specifically that the Victorian Government have confirmed that:

    Students aged between 12 and 15 who are not fully vaccinated will be able to attend camps, excursions, graduations, and other school activities held at open premises that are also used by other schools or patrons from Tuesday 23 November.

    This exception to the current Directions will apply only to school-organised activities when at least one teacher is present.

    All Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Ballarat are reminded to ensure COVIDsafe plans are in place and observed in all settings for any school-based activity or event.

    Thank you for everything you continue to do to keep our school communities safe.

    Published on: 23 Nov 2021
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