Vaccination requirements for school sites

Anyone working on a NSW school or early education and care site must meet mandatory double vaccination requirements to help protect the health and safety of staff and students.

Last updated 30 June 2022

Please note that the protocols and advice outlined on this page are applicable until 18 July 2022, at which time the department’s updated policy position regarding COVID-19 vaccination for staff will take effect. The content on this page will be amended to reflect the updated policy then. 

For further details of the proposed policy position, refer to NSW Education proposes change to vaccine mandate.

School staff can access more information on Vaccinations general information (staff only).

Vaccination requirements

On 20 April 2022, the NSW Government announced that the Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2022External link (PDF 630KB)External linkExternal link will not be extended beyond its current term.

While the Public Health order lapsed on 13 May 2022, determinations for all department staff to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19 remain in place until the department decides its policy position based on a work health and safety risk assessment.

This means:

  • All employees of the department must be double-vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • All people doing work on school sites that involves direct interaction with students, who are not employed by the department, must also be double-vaccinated. This includes volunteers and is enforced through a department Work Health and Safety policy directive.

Schools are required to continue to follow current vaccination status checks for new staff, visitors and others doing work on school sites with students.

Some workers are not required to be double-vaccinated:

  • workers on school site outside of school hours (eg. OSHC providers)
  • workers not interacting directly with students (eg. cleaners employed through third party contracts)
  • organisations on site under community use agreements (eg. churches using a school hall). These organisations must only comply with vaccination requirements if their community use agreement requires them to comply with department policies. Note that vaccination requirements for these workers are set by their employers.

The department is working through this change with our Health, Safety and Staff Wellbeing team and NSW Health and is undertaking consultation with our stakeholders to determine how they will be implemented in our schools and early childhood education sites. Please note that the Secretary’s direction for all department staff to meet vaccination requirements as a condition of employment is still in place.

Vaccination requirements do not apply to an education or care worker who carries out relevant work in an emergency. An emergency includes events such as paramedics responding to a medical emergency, firefighters responding to a fire or gas leak, workers responding to a sewerage leak.

Vaccination mandate for ATSOs and ASTP drivers

Assisted Travel Support Officers (ATSOs) and Assisted School Travel Program (ASTP) drivers are covered by the Public Health Order for care workers, which currently mandates that all care workers must have three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The three dose mandate is required to protect our students with disability, some of whom are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill if coming into contact with COVID-19. The mandate is also in place to protect our drivers and ATSOs, who often work in small and closed spaces with a higher risk or spreading and contracting COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Proving vaccination status

When working or volunteering at a school or early education and care site, you will need to attest that you meet the mandatory double vaccination requirements against COVID-19. You will then be asked by a responsible person (such as the principal) to show evidence of vaccination.

Evidence of vaccination includes:

You will not be allowed to work or volunteer on a school or early education and care site without showing evidence of being double vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccinations for visitors and volunteers

Updated 23 April 2022

Schools and early childhood education can invite visitors – including parents, carers and families – to their sites regardless of their vaccination status, in line with settings in the broader community.

Workers and volunteers, including parents and carers, are still required to meet mandatory double vaccination requirements including:

  • volunteers or staff operating uniform shops and canteens
  • visitors supporting school operations and curriculum delivery
  • allied health partners for the wellbeing of students
  • university and TAFE students coming on school sites to complete their practicum or teacher training.

Where a worker or volunteer has a medical contraindication, the following process is to be followed:

  • Workers or volunteers will need to provide a medical contraindication form to the school prior to the visit. The contraindication form must be one of the following used by medical practitioners in NSW:
  • The school is required to conduct a risk assessment prior to the worker or volunteer attending the school site. The risk assessment will consider the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and identify measures that need to be put in place to minimise risks to health and safety. Only approved medical contraindication forms will be accepted.

Note. Workers and volunteers with medical contraindication are not permitted to be in direct contact with students who may be particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of COVID-19. This is particularly relevant to our schools for specific purposes (SSPs), schools with support units and preschools where people with valid medical contraindications are not permitted to work in direct contact with students.

Student vaccinations

Vaccinations are not mandatory for students. However, anyone eligible (currently anyone aged 5 and over) is encouraged to get vaccinated.

Get your COVID-19 vaccination

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination in NSW, including booking an appointment and vaccine safety.

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