Executive Director’s Update to Principals #67: COVID Update - 2 Sep 2021
God of the branches, God of the vine, God of the fruit that will last,
when much of the familiar is pruned away -- the work routine, the school run,
the certainty of our day – may we see what is good and true blossom in reassuring ways:
colleagues working as one,
children learning from home,
May these days of great disruption bear out what is always true:
that we can reach others with the love you provide
when we remain in you.
~ Corrymeela Community
Updated School Operations Guide
The Term 3 School Operations Guide has been updated and is available to download from CEVN. Some pertinent changes are listed below.
The role of schools in authorised worker permit compliance (p5)
Schools are not responsible for confirming the validity of permits of Authorised Workers.
Schools will not face any penalty if they allow a student on site in reliance of a parent’s Authorised Worker status, which subsequently turns out to be false. The onus is on the permit holder to attest to the permit conditions and eligibility, and any penalties that apply if this information is incorrect would be given to the permit holder.
School staff (including Principals, teachers and education support staff) as authorised workers for the purpose of access to early childhood services (p6)
School staff are authorised workers (working on-site or from home), and are able to continue to send their children to early childhood services, where no other supervision arrangements can be made.
For single parents / carers, the person must be an authorised worker (working on-site or from home), work for an authorised provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made.
For dual parents/carers, only one person is required to be an authorised worker to access early childhood services.
Schools should provide eligible teachers with permits as needed, as permits will be required at early childhood services from Tuesday 24 August.
If school staff had a previous APAW permit issued in 2021 prior to 11:59pm on Sunday 22 August 2021 for on-site work, this may be used for access to childcare. Those that do not have an existing permit or undertaking authorised work from home must obtain a new APAW permit that can be sited by their childcare provider to confirm eligibility.
Collecting items from school premises (p5)
Staff and students can attend school sites to pick up laptops/workbooks and any other items that are essential for the period of remote learning (including collecting/submitting equipment and items essential for VCE assessments).
Staff and students who attend to do this must adhere to the face mask requirements, collect the items and leave immediately, remaining on-site for the minimum time required to collect these items.
Any unnecessary interactions with others should be avoided and physical distancing between individuals should be maintained.
Playgrounds are open for school use and from 11.59pm Thursday 2 September, are available for community use after school hours only.
Playgrounds open to the public now require QR check ins under the Restricted Activity Directions.
Schools with playgrounds that are used by the public should now include QR Check in posters.
Use of school facilities by community and sport groups (p16)
Use of school facilities by community and sport groups is not permitted, the exception being indoor and outdoor markets to obtain food and groceries. Outdoor markets are permitted to operate on school grounds outside school hours with continued adherence to strict guidelines and controls in place – see page 16 for full details.
Structured workplace learning (SWL) and work experience (p15)
All SWL and work experience placements planned should be deferred, or if that is not possible, cancelled. If SWL or work experience placements are deferred or cancelled, all efforts should be made to arrange suitable alternative arrangements for students.
If the placement or work experience venue is listed on the Authorised Providers and Authorised Workers list, it is still recommended that these are deferred or cancelled.
For placements or work experience that count towards VCE or VCAL units, all efforts should be made to arrange suitable alternative arrangements for students so these can occur at a later time.
School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (including Head Start) (p15)
Students undertaking School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) including Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships (HSATs) may continue their employment if it is on the Authorised Providers and Authorised Workers list, and they have an Authorised Worker Permit. Advice on authorised industries can be found here.
NSW parents/carers working in NSW providing an Authorised Worker Permit to Victorian Schools (p5)
NSW parents and carers also need to complete a Victorian Authorised Worker Permit to attest that they are permitted to leave home and attend work in NSW, and essentially be classified as an Authorised Worker for the purposes of accessing childcare or on-site supervision in Victorian ECEC or schools.
An Authorised Worker whose employer’s work premise is interstate, or who is self-employed, a sole trader, an independent contractor or sub-contractor, may issue themselves with an Authorised Worker Permit, signed as both the employer and worker.
The onus is on the permit holder to attest to the permit conditions and eligibility, and any penalties that apply if this information is incorrect would be given to the permit holder.
Cross-border permits (p29)
An updated list of reasons Cross-Border Community Area residents can cross the Victorian-NSW border is on page 29.
Updated School Operations Guide - VCE/VCAL Updates
The following items in the updated Term 3 School Operations Guide are specific to VCE/VCAL:
School-based assessments for VCE/VCAL and IB (p8)
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) has provided updated guidance to schools on VCE assessments and the on-site attendance for preparation and participation in permitted essential assessments.
To access this guidance, as well as stay updated with any changes, please visit:
Testing requirements (p8)
Students must be tested for COVID-19 in the preceding 72 hours to being on-site. Evidence of a negative test is not required to be shown to the school but must be made available should the school opt to request it.
The COVID-19 testing requirement for attending onsite for Permitted Essential Assessments is for students only. Teachers attending on-site for the assessments are not required to be tested.
General Achievement Test (GAT) and VCE Examinations (p9)
- The General Achievement Test (GAT) has been rescheduled and will take place on Tuesday 5 October 2021
- VCE examinations will take place between 4 October – 17 November 2021
*Note: Further information on the GAT and VCE examinations has been provided directly by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) today.
Priority vaccination access for final year staff and students (p12)
See details below under Year 12 Vaccination Blitz.
Year 12 Vaccination Blitz
*Please circulate these details to your Year 12 students and their families.*
To help support the safe conduct of end-of-year exams, the Victorian Government has announced a vaccination blitz for final year school students, their teachers and for VCE exam supervisors and assessors.
The blitz will begin on 7 September and continue until 17 September. During the blitz, final year students, their teachers and VCE exam supervisors and assessors will have access to priority timeslots to attend their vaccination appointment at a vaccination centre.
Final year students, their teachers and VCE exam supervisors and assessors will be able to book their first and second doses via a dedicated appointment booking hotline.
These additional pathways will help support a faster booking process and minimise absence for students during their schooling hours.
The Department of Health will release details of the dedicated phone number and session information on Friday 3 September. Bookings will open on Monday 7 September.
Vaccination Webinar - TOMORROW
The Victorian Department of Health is hosting a live webinar for final year school students, their families and educators to provide information on COVID-19 vaccination.
People can join the free webinar on Friday 3 September from 4.00-5.00pm via this link (no need to register).
Topics will include:
- Vaccines, development and safety
- Accessing and consenting to a vaccination
- How to book an appointment
- Q+A with the panel
This event will be held via Microsoft Teams Live. For access information visit attend a live event in Teams.
Vaccination Information Packs
These packs contain useful information and resources, and we encourage you to share these with your networks and communities. They include newsletter content, FAQs, social media posts, downloadable social tiles and a poster, and template letters for students and parents.
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…