To assist with the development of contingency plans for the re-opening and operation of schools in an environment that may require social distancing and other public health requirements, my Department is engaging with education partners and relevant stakeholders. This work will be based on the National Return to Work Safely Protocol that was published by Government and will also be informed by guidance and experience from other jurisdictions.
A core objective of the contingency plans will be to ensure that schools and other education settings can reopen and operate in a safe manner that is consistent with public health advice. Following consultation, currently underway with the education partners, guidance will issue to schools as soon as possible on the logistical and curricular arrangements to be put in place to facilitate the phased re-opening of schools. This guidance will provide a framework for individual schools to develop plans for the re-opening of school in accordance with their own circumstances, the context and needs of their staff and students and in compliance with public health guidelines.