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Huge change proposed for school staff and teacher vax mandates

Unvaccinated teachers and other education staff in all east coast states could soon return to work under new mandates being proposed on Friday.

Victoria and Queensland have both already dropped their requirements for teacher vaccinations to take effect from next week.

NSW is also considering the move to have the vaccine mandate lifted with the hopes it will encourage up to 1000 teachers to return to the classroom.

The plan from the Department of Education was proposed on Friday.

NSW Department of Education Secretary, Georgina Harrisson said moving into Term 3 parents could be assured of the ongoing safety in schools and that face-to-face learning will be maintained.

A consultation process with unions and other stakeholders began in NSW on Friday and is hoped to be resolved within a fortnight.

Huge change proposed for school staff and teacher vax mandates
Camera IconA consultation process with unions and other stakeholders began in NSW on Friday and is hoped to resolve within a fortnight. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

“With more than 120,000 staff, 850,000 students and 2,300 work sites it was important that as the Public Health Orders were lifted, we undertook an independent review of our Covid work, health and safety settings,” Ms Harrison said.

“We have taken the time that was needed in coming to this position to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students would not be compromised.

A report by the NSW Department of Education found as of March 31, 865 of its teachers were unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or had provided evidence of vaccination that was subsequently rejected.

In Queensland, the changed vaccine requirements to come into effect from June 30 apply to workers in schools, early childhood education, kindergartens and daycares, as well as prisons, youth detention, police watch houses and airports.

Queensland health minister Yvette D’Ath said moving forward decisions around mandatory vaccinations would be made by employers.

“As we move to the next stage of the pandemic … we will be revoking our high-risk workers COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” she said.

Proposals were being considered by NSW education authorities on Friday to similarly remove vaccination requirements for teachers and school staff.

More to come.

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