Regional schools welcome students back for Term 4

As the final term of 2021 begins, students in some regional parts of NSW are returning to the classroom and face-to-face learning.

More than 140,000 students across NSW return to face-to-face learning today for the start of Term 4.

With COVID-19 restrictions eased across many parts of rural and regional NSW, 721 schools – almost a third of the State’s public schools – will welcome all students back on site.

Students will return to COVID-safe settings that include QR code check-ins, no visitors, restricted activities, increased hygiene practices and mask wearing.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said she understood how important it was to have children back in classrooms.

“Thousands of excited students are returning to the classroom in the regions today, and will soon be followed by students in other parts of the state with either a staged return from 18 October, or via the easing of local restrictions,” Ms Mitchell said.

“After a disrupted Term 3, it is more important than ever that students receive the academic, social and wellbeing benefits of being in the classroom. Despite this excitement, it is important that parents and students follow their school’s guidelines for safe operations, and practice physical distancing at school pick-ups and drop-offs.

“I know there remain some concerns in the community around the return to school, but students, staff and parents should feel confident our schools are as safe as possible.”

Several measures are in place for a return to school, including increased cleaning activities and additional hygiene and safety practices, which have been bolstered by supplies of face masks, hand sanitiser and surface wipes made available to schools.

Support and guidance will continue to be provided to principals to support ventilation, personal hygiene, and school activities to ensure schools can operate in a COVID safe way throughout the term.

Parents are encouraged to look at their school website, Facebook page or newsletters to learn about new procedures that have been introduced, such as changes to parents’ access to the school grounds, drop off and pick up points as well as new safety and hygiene rules.

For updated information on the return to school and restrictions, visit the Advice for Families page.

Wellbeing support and advice is also available online.

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