CESE review of the department’s mandatory vaccination requirements and school-based staff numbers

This report was originally published 9 May 2022.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Department of Education has had to adapt to difficult and changing circumstances. In 2021, in addition to the demands of remote learning, a system for attesting and verifying the vaccination status of employees, as mandated by public health orders, had to be established. This review details implementation of the vaccine mandate among the schools workforce by:

  • providing a timeline of policy decisions and significant developments
  • defining key terms
  • explaining how employees’ availability to work is identified, and,
  • clarifying the effect of vaccine mandates on teacher supply.

While some staff decided not to undergo vaccination, the number of teachers active in NSW schools remained essentially the same pre and post the introduction of the mandate. High levels of staff and student vaccination (reducing absences due to serious COVID illness), COVID-smart measures and strategic deployment of staff enabled the department to manage the impact of the virus successfully throughout Term 1 2022, requiring the closure of only three schools.

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