On 13 January 2022, National Cabinet agreed to a national framework to promote a nationally consistent approach to the ongoing delivery of high-quality education for all students during COVID-19.
The National Framework for Managing COVID-19 in Schools and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (the Framework) aims to ensure all schools and ECEC are open and be able to stay open, with as little disruption from COVID-19 as possible.
The Framework is based on six national guiding principles:
- ECEC services and schools are essential and should be the first to open and the last to close wherever possible in outbreak situations, with face-to-face learning prioritised
- Baseline public health measures continue to apply
- No vulnerable child or child of an essential worker is turned away
- Responses to be proportionate and health risk-based
- Equip ECEC services and schools to respond on the basis of public health advice and with support from public health authorities where required
- Wellbeing of children and education staff to be supported.
State and territory governments are responsible for drafting individual operational plans in consultation with relevant stakeholders and school and ECEC sectors. These plans will be available on state and territory government websites shortly.