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Information about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and NSW schools, universities and childcare centres.


Scholarships to support vulnerable students

Almost 850 of the state’s most vulnerable young people will receive a $1000 grant to support their studies and improve their educational outcomes.

Creative kids expansion goes digital

The NSW Government is helping Creative Kids providers go digital in response to the COVID-19 crisis, expanding access to the popular program for kids across the state.

Free short courses to support NSW

Thirteen new fee-free TAFE NSW online short courses are available to anyone wanting to upskill during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Protect yourself and others through social distancing

Use social distancing and protect yourself and others with good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene.

Schools and childcare

Term 2 will begin as it finished in Term 1. The majority of NSW students will continue to be learning from home. Schools will be open and operational for students that need to attend but where practical, parents are encouraged to keep their children at home.

Teachers will plan the same learning for students at school and at home.

Key dates

  • Wednesday 29 April – 8 May 2020: students learning from home where practical.
  • From Monday 11 May: students attend school one day a week and learn from home on the other days.

The new phased operating model will see students being reintroduced to some face-to-face learning on campus starting from week 3.

There are five phases to get us back to full onsite school operations:

  • Phase 0 (where we currently are)
    Schools are open for families who need it.
  • Phase 1
    Students at school at least one day per week.
  • Phase 2
    Students at school at least two days per week.
  • Phase 3
    Students at school five days per week, with social distancing measures.
  • Phase 4
    Students at school five days per week, with full school activities.

Schools will communicate directly with parents, carers and students throughout Term 2 regarding changes to phases as relevant to their school.

As part of the phased approach schools will be using social distancing including maintaining small class sizes with reduced student attendance and staggered start, finish and break times throughout the day. Schools will continue to encourage good health and hygiene practices to students including frequent hand washing and limiting physical contact.

Find out more about school changes in Term 2

  • Anyone who is sick with influenza-like symptoms, even with mild symptoms, or has been overseas in the past 14 days, should not attend school, universities or childcare.
  • Follow your school’s advice regarding changes to drop off and pick up arrangements.
  • Out-of-school activities and family holidays that are not essential should be cancelled. 
  • Have a plan for if your child/young person cannot attend childcare or school and be prepared for them to learn at home. You may need to discuss your child care plans with your employer.
  • Make sure your child/young person isn't meeting up with groups of friends.
  • Encourage good hygiene including handwashing with soap and water and coughing/sneezing into a flexed elbow.

Report: COVID-19 in schools – the experience in NSW

A report into the transmission of COVID-19 within NSW schools in term 1 has found no evidence that students transmit the virus to adults in the schools studied.

Read the report

Stay informed

The Australian Government is supporting families, carers and child care operators.

Free childcare will be available for around one million families and carers during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with the JobKeeper payment, this will help early learning and child care operators to continue to provide services.

Under the plan, the Australian Government will pay 50% of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers, but only so long as services remain open and do not charge families for care. The funding will apply from 6 April based on the number of children who were in care during the fortnight leading into 2 March, whether or not they are attending services.

Read the Australian Government's Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.

For childcare services and education providers

  • Encourage good handwashing and hygiene especially where there is face-to-face programs or in small spaces (like laboratories). Have hand sanitisers at entry points, and make sure areas of high touch points for students and staff are cleaned regularly and thoroughly.
  • Take all the actions recommended for a healthy workplace.
  • Ensure the highest hygiene practices among food handlers.
  • Ensure infection control and routine environmental cleaning procedures are in place.
  • If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 the childcare service or school should follow existing protocols for cleaning and disinfection for outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness/gastroenteritis.

  • Follow social distancing advice.
  • Try to stagger student breaks to limit movements and contacts between student/class groups.
  • Consider whether any activities can be postponed, reduced in size or frequency, or replaced.
  • Enable separation of students and avoid queuing, as much as possible.

  • Identify a space that can be used to isolate students and staff who become sick.
  • Actively encourage sick children/students and staff to stay at home.
  • Promote the annual influenza vaccine for staff, children and their families.
  • Alert your agency or department about large increases in student and staff absenteeism due to flu-like illnesses.

  • If a child or staff member becomes ill while they are at the service, they should be sent home as soon as possible. While awaiting collection by their carer, ideally, the symptomatic child should be cared for in an area that is separated from other children at the service. This is to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
  • Contact your public health unit immediately on 1300 066 055 if you are notified that a child or staff member at your service has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Develop a process to rapidly communicate with staff (including casual workers), visitors, families and your local public health unit.
  • Keep students, parents and staff informed of the actions you are taking.
  • Stay up to date with information on COVID-19 for schools, childcare and parents provided by the Department of EducationCatholic Schools NSW and NSW Health.
  • Refer to SafeWork NSW’s COVID-19: advice and guidance for employers.
  • Prepare for senior students and staff to study/ work from home if required.

The Children’s Guardian has extended all WWCC clearances that were due to expire between 26 March 2020 and 26 September 2020 for a further 6 months.

Find out more details at Service NSW.

Universities, TAFE and other training

Although you can leave home to attend an educational institution, most universities and colleges have made changes to classes, assessments, exams and campus facilities to reduce the spread of disease. 

While studies at NSW Universities have been moved online where possible, some units with a practical component are continuing with face to face to delivery. 
Contact your university or college directly to find out how they are managing COVID-19.

Most NSW Universities have introduced a range of measures to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged as a result of the health crisis. Individual universities can provide more information regarding revised arrangements in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

International students that have been impacted by COVID-19 should first contact their education institution, but there are other service providers that can help as well. These include local and national non-government organisations and community services. Students should also contact their Embassy or local Consular Office to see if help is available there.

If you have been impacted by COVID-19 the Australian Government has provided a dedicated email and hotline for international students - or call 1300 981 621 (8am to 8pm AEDST Monday to Friday - calls within Australia only).

Stay up to date with the latest news for international students through Study NSW.

Find up to date information and links to a wide range of community support services for international students, including mental health support, emergency food assistance, free legal support, wellbeing information and accommodation services at the International Student Welfare Services Hub

Find out about visa changes and travel restrictions

Find out how to access your superannuation as an international student

Find advice for international students in school years 11 and 12.

From 27 April, TAFE will re-commence delivery to students through connected and blended delivery options.

Find out more information and the latest updates at TAFE NSW

Students of other Training Organisations should contact their training provider directly to find out how their classes may have changed. 

TAFE NSW is offering fee-free online short courses available to anyone wanting to upskill during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

You can learn administration, digital, health, leadership or business skills through a TAFE short course.

Find out more and enrol at TAFE NSW.

For apprentices and trainees that have been affected by COVID-19, including loss of employment and income, support is available through Training Services NSW.

Find out more information for apprentices and trainees at Training Services NSW.

Training Services NSW can help organisations that employ apprentices and trainees, including advice about financial assistance and managing changes to business operations.

Find more information for employers at Training Services NSW.

Training Services NSW can provide comprehensive support and information to Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who have a NSW Government Smart and Skilled contract.

Training Services NSW can offer advice about training plans, delivery mode changes, Targeted Priorities Pre-Vocational Part Qualifications (TPPPQ), cap management, apprentices and trainees, school based apprentices and trainees, financial hardship and staffing changes.

Find out more information for RTOs at Training Services NSW.

NSW school terms and public holidays

Check this year's school term dates and find public holidays for 2020 and 2021.

School and public holidays

Digital lunchbreak

Find fun online activities and resources for children and young people.

Digital lunchbreak activities and resources

Keeping kids busy

Find vacation care services, audiobooks and podcasts, video games and tv activities, or live streams from zoos around the world.

Keeping kids busy
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