A guide to NSW school students returning to face-to-face learning

Last updated at 5pm, 22 May


All schools are returning to full on-campus learning from Monday 25 May. All school activities and operations will be in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health guidelines as applicable.

School students do not need to follow strict adult physical distancing guidelines, but should follow good hygiene practices like:

  • regularly washing hands
  • avoiding sharing drinks or food
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately

School attendance

All students should be at school unless:

  • they have a medical certificate which states that they are unable to return to school due to an ongoing medical condition
  • they are currently unwell.

Reporting and assessment

Your child has been assessed during the learning from home period and will receive additional assessment on their return to school.

You will receive your child’s semester 1 report before the end of August (Week 6, Term 3).

This will be a simplified version of the report you normally receive. Schools are encouraged to discuss your child’s progress with you before the written report is issued.

School activities

Teachers will continue to follow the same school curriculum with the exception of some activities that can’t go ahead for now.

What children can do

  • Use the school library
  • Engage in non-contact sporting activities
  • Year 11 and 12 students only may attend classes/activities relating to subjects only available on other campuses is allowed
  • VET work placement for Year 12 students is able to proceed from 1 June 2020. Year 10 and 11 work-placement is able to proceed from Term 3 2020.
  • School based apprenticeships and traineeships can recommence once the relevant workplaces are back in operation
  • Trade Training Centres can operate on school sites

What students can’t do

  • School assemblies (unless for critical information)
  • School incursions and excursions including camps
  • Work experience
  • Inter-school activities (debating, inter-school sport)
  • In-school activities requiring parent or other volunteers
  • Use hydrotherapy pools
  • Drink from a water bubbler – bring a water bottle instead
  • Students cannot attend TAFE for study but may continue to learn online.

School cleaning and hygiene supplies

Your school will receive additional cleaning in line with the AHPPC guidelines and advice from NSW Health. Target areas include high-touch areas and other hard surfaces, door handles, lockers, light switches and handrails in stairways and movement areas. There will also be additional cleaning of toilets and bubblers and topping up of supplies like soap.

Your school has received supplies of soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes and personal protective equipment. The school is able to order more as needed.

Essential hygiene supplies

To support NSW schools during COVID-19 and help keep them safe, we've secured and dispatched a range of products including soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and personal protective equipment.

To date we have dispatched: 1,336,533 items to schools

So far we've dispatched to schools:

  • 143,700 rolls of toilet paper
  • 24,500 rolls paper towel
  • 23,600 bars of soap
  • 4,600 litres of hand wash
  • 169,200 litres of hand sanitiser
  • 140,300 litres of surface spray
  • 108,200 packets of disinfectant wipes

If your school hasn't received additional supplies, contact COVID-19@det.nsw.edu.au.

School grounds

There should be no visitors to school sites unless they are essential. Your school can provide guidance as to who is considered essential.

Your school will provide advice on drop off and pick up procedures.

Canteens and uniform shops can open at the discretion of the principal.

Out of school hours care can continue to operate.

Wherever possible, P&C and parent/carer/teacher meetings should be conducted online.

Community use of school facilities will recommence only for uses that are necessary for continuation of education and with principal’s approval.

Responding to COVID-19 cases

There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with NSW Health and will communicate with parents if a situation arises. Find out more at the response protocols page.


For travel advice to and from school refer to the NSW public transport service.

Video – Keeping schools safe

Duration – 00:27

Keeping schools safe video

On-screen text

Schools have hygiene supplies to keep classrooms clean.

Staff are practising physical distancing and good hygiene.

We're asking parents to keep their distance.

We're asking everyone to stay home if they're sick.

Large gatherings are off until further notice.

Contact sports are off but other games are ok.

Parents and teachers need to maintain physical distancing.

Washing your hands helps stop the spread.

NSW Government.

End of transcript.

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