Countdown is on for ACT’s youngest learners to head back to face to face learning

Countdown is on for ACT’s youngest learners to head back to face to face learning

by Freya Lucas

October 04, 2021

The ACT Government has released details of a return to face to face learning for children of all ages in Term Four, including details for early childhood education and outside school hours care (OSHC). 


The timing of the staged return to school is in line with the ACT’s COVID-19 Pathway Forward and has been designed to align with critical community vaccination rates and the pace of the easing of restrictions in other parts of the ACT community.


From Monday 25 October (week 4, term 4), children enrolled in preschool, kindergarten, and years 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10 can return to on-campus learning. These year groups will also be able to attend their usual OSHC programs.


Children can also return to early childhood education and care services from 25 October, the announcement noted.


From Monday 1 November (week 5, term 4), years 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 can return to on campus learning. These students will then also be able to attend their usual OSHC programs.


Health and safety measures will be in place in schools and early learning settings to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including:


  • encouraging vaccination of eligible students, staff and families,
  • mandatory use of the Check In Canberra app for all adults,
  • ensuring fresh air ventilation is optimised in all settings,
  • physical distancing measures for adults, and
  • mandatory mask wearing for staff across all schools, and for students in years 7-12.


Other measures in place will include limiting the mingling of classes and year groups, staggering breaks, increased use of outdoor spaces, limitation of on-site visitors to essential visitors only, environmental cleaning, and high vigilance around not allowing anyone with symptoms of illness to attend.


The approach being taken is informed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee advice for minimising COVID-19 transmission in schools and the Chief Health Officer’s Health Guidelines for Schools and Early Childhood Education Services (including out of school hours care).


Each education setting will have its own site-specific COVID-19 Safety Assurance Plan to meet the local context and curriculum needs.


For more information, please see here