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COVID normal

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​​​​​​​​​​​Current operational status

​ ​

COVID normal​

Queensland state schools will be operating under COVID normal conditions. However, in some circumstances, schools may be required to implement restrictions. More

Important notices:

  • Guidelines for close contacts in Queensland have changed. Stay up-to-date with the latest requirements. More​
  • ​Close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 must wear a face mask in schools or early childhood services​. More

The following applies to all Queensland state schools and sessional kindergartens and provides guidance to inform decision-making where no restrictions, lockdowns or closures are in place.​

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At a glance – COVID normal

View a quick summary of requirements below, or read the detailed information.

In detail – COVID normal

Attendance

Student attendance

Students are expected to be learning on school sites.

Same day student absence notification ( departmental employees only) requirements apply. Schools must notify parents or carers of an unexplained absence of their child as soon as practicable on the day of absence.

While students are learning onsite, schools are not required to provide home-based learning options unless there are specific circumstances justifying the student's absence.

Students unable to attend school because they are following Queensland Health isolation or close contact guidelines are not expected to do schoolwork. However, schools may choose to provide access to learning resources (such as learning@home) to help students to continue their learning. The school's approach to learning should consider the expected duration of absence, a student's learning needs, available tools and resources, and the school's established approach to supporting continuity of learning.

At all times, including where a student is learning@home, any concerns of risk of harm to the student must be addressed in line with the department's student protection procedures. All student protection measures and training for staff and visitors must be maintained at all times.

Students of all ages are able to attend school regardless of their vaccination status. Any student over 16 years of age is not required to be vaccinated in order to attend school. Schools and students need to follow the heath directions for work placements and/or traineeships.

If a parent or carer chooses to keep their child at home due to their concerns about COVID-19, where necessary, schools will engage with the parent or carer and offer support to ensure their child returns to school as soon as possible.

Roll marking

For teachers only

For students attending school, students are to be marked present on the roll.

If a student is sick and unable to participate in their learning program, schools will record the student’s absence as Code I: illness and medical appointments.

If a student is absent from school because they are following Queensland Health requirements for close contacts, schools will record the student’s absence as Code B: Attendance not required.

Where medical advice supports the need for a student to remain at home and still access their learning program, schools will record the student’s absence as Code F: off campus activity.

If a parent/carer chooses to keep their child at home due to their concerns about COVID-19, schools will record the student’s absence as Code O: Other and indicate ‘COVID’ in the comments field.

For more information, refer to OneSchool – COVID-19 Operating Guidelines – FAQs for Student Attendance Management ( departmental employees only)

Staff attendance (including preservice teachers)

Staff are expected to be present on school sites and sessional kindergartens. Preservice teachers are to be considered in the same way as staff and welcomed on all school sites. It is important that preservice teachers continue their practical placements unless advised otherwise by Queensland Health. All workers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This applies to all school workers attending an alternative site.

Principals and leadership teams will support and manage arrangements for vulnerable employees ( departmental employees only), including those who wish to voluntarily return to work, as well as staff in isolation. In consultation with their supervisor, staff working from home will determine responsibilities and duties to be completed. Staff hours of work will be consistent with the school's local arrangements and industrial agreements.

Schools will make alternative arrangements and/or engage additional staff using school funds to support teaching and learning across the school, including the classes of vulnerable workers or those in isolation who are not able to attend work.

Staff meetings (including preservice teachers)

Staff meetings are permitted onsite.

Boarding schools

Students and staff are expected to be present on site.

All workers, volunteers and contractors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Further information regarding the operation of state school-operated boarding facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic is available in the guidelines for state-school-operated boarding facilities (PDF, 464KB) ( departmental employees only).

Information regarding the operation of non-state boarding schools should be obtained from the individual boarding school.

Distance education students attending a facility

Students of Distance Education are permitted to attend facilities for educational purposes. If the facility is not a state school, the venue must have a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses.

Home education student gatherings

Students undertaking home education are permitted to gather.

Offsite premises need to adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB). All school workers and volunteers attending an alternative site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Parent teacher interviews

Parent-teacher interviews approved by the principal are permitted, adhering to physical distancing and other COVID-19 control measures. Where possible, options for teleconference or online platforms should be made available.

Visitors on school sites

Visitors attending a school site to work or volunteer must be fully vaccinated.

Visitors are kindly reminded not to visit a school if you are sick.

Parents and carers

Parents and carers are welcome on school sites and are not required to be fully vaccinated. You may be asked to check in via the Check In Qld app.

Parents or carers who are working or volunteering at a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Adults are kindly reminded to maintain physical distancing at all times, especially at drop-off and pick-up time, in the car park, outside classrooms and at the school gate.

Contractors and external workers

Contractors, suppliers and external workers are allowed on school sites, but must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Schools must verify the vaccination status of these visitors and may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

All contractors, suppliers and external workers must to adhere to school visitor sign-in arrangements and schools must maintain a record of their contact details. This must include each visitor's full name, email address, contact telephone number, and date and time of visit. The Check In Qld app may be used for this purpose.

Other visitors

Visitors are permitted on school sites, however must be fully vaccinated to work or volunteer at a school. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify the vaccination status of visitors who are working or volunteering at their school.

All visitors must adhere to school visitor sign-in arrangements and schools must maintain a record of visitors, including volunteers and visiting departmental staff, to enable contact tracing if required. This must include each visitor's full name, email address, contact telephone number, and date and time of visit. The Check In Qld app may be used for this purpose.

Curriculum-based activities

Excursions and camps

The activity consent form (DOCX, 313KB) must be completed for any student attending an excursion or camp. The form enables information to be shared in compliance with Chief Health Officer directions.

If consent has not been provided via the activity consent form, or by other written means that will allow the school and venue to comply with Chief Health Officer directions, the student will be unable to participate.

Excursion/camp risk assessments must be undertaken prior to approval. Risk assessments must take into account approved COVID-19 control measures and isolation requirements should anyone attending the excursion or camp develop COVID-19 symptoms during or following the excursion or camp. As there is a possibility of staff or students needing to return home during a camp, careful consideration should be given to excursions/camps that involve extensive travel and/or complex travel arrangements.

Accomodation

As each camp facility will be unique in its layout and configuration, planning should consider the sleeping arrangements for staff and students and the likelihood of individuals being deemed a close contact should a confirmed case of COVID-19 be identified.

Cohorting of students should occur where possible, and the school must ensure there are records of which students shared accommodation and which staff shared accommodation to enable identification of close contacts.

Isolation

Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms while at camp must be isolated in an appropriate, supervised space.

When a student is unwell, their parent or carer will be contacted and arrangements made for the child to return home as soon as practicable.

Staff who are unwell should speak to their principal or supervisor regarding leave arrangements.

Close contacts

Similar to the state school residential boarding school guidelines, staff and students attending a camp may be considered a close contact if they shared sleeping quarters with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in any of the following conditions:

  • an enclosed bedroom, e.g. twin room
  • a cubicle and adjacent cubicles where rooms are partitioned and the partitions do not create separate rooms
  • 2 adjacent beds on either side of the confirmed case in an open dormitory.

Staff and students who were not accommodated overnight in any of the above conditions will not be considered a close contact.

Anyone who is deemed a close contact must follow Queensland Health directions.

Students who are not deemed to be a close contact can continue attending the camp and then return to school as usual.

COVID-19 testing

Schools could consider providing a rapid antigen test (RAT) to families to administer before attending camps to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in a camp environment. Similarly, RATs could be provided to staff for the same purpose.

If students or staff develop COVID-19 symptoms while at camp, they should be provided with a RAT to be administered at home.

Once a staff member or student has completed their period of isolation and they do not have symptoms, they are free to return to school. They do not need to produce a negative COVID-19 test result before they can return.

At a Department of Education facility

Principals must ensure that a COVID Safe Event Checklist has been completed for excursions or camps, including those held at Department of Education Outdoor and Environmental Education Centres (O&EEC) with residential facilities.

All workers and volunteers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Facilities may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

At a non-departmental facility

Excursions and camps are permitted at venues with completed COVID Safe Event Checklist for restrictive businesses.

Offsite premises must adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

School activities

Onsite

Onsite activities permitted on school sites include:

  • instrumental music programs, ensembles, performances and choirs
  • incursions
  • dancing
  • PE classes
  • whole school assemblies.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

Parents, carers and visitors are welcome to attend these events on school sites, adhering to COVID safe measures.

Please note: schools are required to follow the instrumental music program guidelines for managing hazards associated with COVID-19.

Offsite

Activities are permitted to be held at an external venue with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses, including:

  • instrumental music programs, ensembles, performances and choirs
  • excursions
  • dancing
  • PE classes
  • whole school assemblies

Offsite premises need to adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

When attending events at external venues, a school group is not required to check in school-aged children. If vaccination is a Queensland Health requirement to attend the venue, adult chaperones (including staff, parents, carers and volunteers) will be asked to verify their vaccination status. Venues may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

Schools must retain details of the students attending the external venue.

School sports (intra-school, inter-school and representative school sport programs)

Schools are able to conduct intra-school, inter-school and representative school sport programs for both indoor and outdoor sports (including contact sports).

Further information regarding Queensland School Sports, including FAQs, planning documents and a calendar of state championship events, is available to support schools and sports organisers to train and compete in a safe, responsible and low risk manner that complies with the latest health advice.

Onsite

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

Parents, carers and visitors are welcome to attend these events on school sites, adhering to COVID safe measures.

Offsite

School sports are permitted at venues with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses.

When attending events at external venues, a school group is not required to check in school-aged children. If vaccination is a Queensland Health requirement to attend the venue, adult chaperones (including staff and volunteers) will be asked to verify their vaccination status. Venues may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

Schools must retain details of the students attending the external venue.

Events and functions

School functions

Onsite

Schools can hold functions on school sites.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

Schools must retain details of the students attending.

At onsite events, schools may choose to record the details of parents and carers attending the event. All other visitors must to adhere to school visitor sign-in arrangements.

Offsite

School functions are permitted at a venue with completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses.

Offsite premises need to adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

A school group attending a venue as part of a school function is not required to check in school-aged children. If vaccination is a Queensland Health requirement to attend the venue, adult chaperones (including staff, officials, volunteers and spectators) will be asked to verify their vaccination status. Venues may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

Schools must retain details of the students attending and, if requested, provide relevant information for contact tracing purposes.

Ticketed or seated events

Ticketed or seated events are permitted with 100% capacity.

Facilities, amenities and services

Outside school hours care and vacation care

All workers, volunteers and contractors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Services may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

Outside school hours care services (OSHC) and vacation care programs will continue to operate as normal.

Parents should contact their OSHC service regarding drop-off and pick-up arrangements for their children.

School transport

Dedicated school transport services for students will continue to operate as normal. These services are exclusively for students travelling to and from school, or activities related to outside school hours care and to attend school sport, excursions and camps. This includes specialist school transport for students with disability in minibus and taxi services.

Physical distancing should be maintained at bus interchange locations, at pick-up and drop-off, and on other shared transport services.

Use of school facilities and amenities (playgroups facilitated by external organisations, community users, holiday programs)

Activities, such as holiday programs and playgroups facilitated by external organisations, or community users of school facilities, are permitted on school sites.

Workers and visitors accessing school facilities and amenities outside of school operations are not subject to mandatory vaccination requirements if the school is not occupied by staff and students in their capacity as an employee or student of the school.

Principals must ensure these organisations are operating in line with the requirements of Queensland Government COVID Safe Businesses, including use of the Check In Qld app.

Playgrounds

Playgrounds are permitted to be used by students. Standard cleaning procedures should be followed.

Provision of food/tuckshops

Standard guidelines for providing food and the operation of tuckshops should be followed.

All workers and volunteers must be fully vaccinated for COVID 19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

Essential health and wellbeing services (non-departmental employees)

Essential health and wellbeing services continue as normal, with standard sign-in procedures.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID 19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

Services include dental services, School Immunisation providers, Prep Vision Screening providers, Chaplains/Student Welfare Workers, school-based Police Officers, school-based Youth Health Nurses, Youth Support Coordinators and school-based General Practitioners.

Emergency management

Emergency Response Plan (ERP) evacuation drills to occur as scheduled.

Alternative assembly points must be considered when planning for emergencies that may occur.

All emergency drills must be entered into MyHR Workplace Health and Safety ( departmental employees only).​

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Last updated 26 April 2022