The Education and Early Childhood Settings Vaccination Direction is in effect.
By 11 December 2021 people working in the following education and early childhood settings will be required to have received at least one dose of a TGA approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine:
- All government or non-government schools including:
- Primary education, secondary education or both,
- Early learning centre,
- Preschool or
- Boarding house.
- An education and childcare care service premises as defined in the Education and Care Services National Law (South Australia). For example:
- Long day care services,
- Family day care services,
- Outside school hours services and
- Preschool programs including those delivered in schools, unless expressly excluded.
- Locations where Department for Education carries out any business or undertaking,
- Any location where any early childhood service is defined in section 4 of the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 is provided, other than in-home care services – for example tutors.
- Any location where any early education and care service, funded by the Commonwealth Government through the former Budget Based Funding Program is provided.
This direction applies to all people who attend an education and early childhood setting in the course of their work or duties, in a full time, part time, contract, casual or voluntary basis, even if their attendance is incidental or occasional.
It does not apply to parents or guardians attending one of the above settings unless they are performing work or duties including volunteering, for example members of a committee or governing council, canteen duties etc.
Note: If a childcare centre on the grounds of a university only those working in the childcare centre must be vaccinated.
Where an education and early childhood setting is located within residential premises, this direction only applies to persons providing an education and care service, not everyone living there.
By 11 December all education and early childhood workers must have:
- Received at least one dose of a TGA approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccination,
- Received, or have evidence of a booking to receive, a second dose of a TGA approved or recognised COVID-19 vaccine within the interval after the first dose recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) for that COVID-19 vaccine.
- Provided the operator of the education or early childhood setting with proof of their vaccination status upon request.
An education and early childhood worker is not required to have evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination if:
- They have a medical certificate or a letter from a legally qualified medical practitioner certifying that the person:
- Has a medical exemption from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine on either a permanent or temporary basis in accordance with guidelines published by ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation).
- Has a medical exemption on either a permanent or temporary basis from receiving the preferred vaccine as recommended by ATAGI for the person’s age.
- Has an appointment to be assessed by a medical specialist or has started an assessment to determine if they have a medical exemption
- Is currently taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial and the receipt of another available vaccine would impact the validity of the trial.
- The certificate or letter specifies the nature of the exemption and the basis on which it applies;
- The Chief Public Health Officer or her delegate has endorsed the exemption, and
- The person must provide the operator of the education or childcare setting with a copy of the endorsement.
- The person is responding to a non-medical emergency or urgent maintenance task.
- The person is delivering goods to or removing items (including rubbish) from the education or early childhood setting.
The operator of an education and early childhood setting must ensure people engaging in work on their site complies with their COVID Safe Plan for the education and early childhood setting. If a person is delivering goods or removing items they must wear a mask while on site.
The Department for Education website contains Frequently Asked Questions in relation to this Direction.
Child care services, vacation care and long day care continue to operate.
Schools and preschools
Public schools and preschools continue to operate.
Visit the Department for Education website for more information about public school and preschool operations during COVID-19 restrictions.
Universities, higher education and vocational education
Higher education facilities may operate.
Specific requirements are in place for people who have returned from a country or region that is at high or moderate risk for COVID-19. University, higher education and vocational education administrators are advised to review what measures they have in place for remote learning to accommodate people in those circumstances.
SA Health has recently advised that it is safe for students and staff to attend university, TAFE and other VET institutions, and encouraged them to feel comfortable returning to attend in-person when possible.
However, if you have a chronic medical condition or a compromised immune system, you should consult your GP in first instance. If you are feeling unwell, you should stay home.
Advice for parents and carers
Information for parents and carers is available on the Department of Education website.