All governments recognise the importance of education and are committed to supporting the continuity of students’ learning throughout the response to COVID‑19.
On this page:
This page contains information for students, families, schools, and education authorities.
National Framework for Managing COVID‑19 in Schools and Early Childhood Education and Care
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.
Emerging Priorities Program
The Emerging Priorities Program funds projects that assist school communities to respond to emerging priorities in school education including recovery from COVID-19.
Reducing potential risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools
On 24 April 2020, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released health advice in relation to reducing the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools. This practical guidance and advice has been prepared for school leaders engaging with children, parents, teachers and support staff to reduce even further the relatively low risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This updated advice supersedes the advice issued on 16 April 2020.
You can read more on the Department of Health’s website.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a series of posters with information and tips for school staff, high school and secondary school students, and primary school students on how to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools. The posters may be downloaded and printed for use in schools.
Resources for teachers and school leaders
The department has collated a series of resources that may be useful for teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find these on the Resources for teachers and school leaders page.
The Australian Government commissioned six pieces of research to examine the potential impact of remote learning from home on educational outcomes for vulnerable cohorts of children, and barriers to access and evidence-based actions to respond.
- Professor Natalie Brown – The Peter Underwood Centre
- Professor Geoff Masters – ACER
- Professor Janet Clinton - Centre for Program Evaluation, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
- Professor Stephen Lamb – Centre for International Research on Education Systems
- Professor Sarah O’Shea National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education
- Dr Alan Finkel AO FAA FTSE FAHMS - Rapid Research Information Forum
National Principles for School Education
On 16 April 2020, the National Cabinet agreed to a set of National Principles for School Education to support the ongoing delivery of high quality education for all students during COVID-19, enable students to progress through their year level, and support a successful transition to 2021.
State and Territory Governments and non-government sector authorities are responsible for managing and making operational decisions for their schools. Decisions regarding the response to COVID-19 in the schooling sector must continue to be informed by expert, official, national and state-based public health and education advice, consistent with these national principles.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Support for students with disability
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that every student, including students with disability, have access to education in a sustainable and effective manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 support available to non-government schools
The Government is providing assistance of up to $100,000 to help eligible small and medium sized businesses and not-for profit organisations with their cash flow so they can keep operating.
Special Circumstances – School Hygiene Assistance Fund
To help ensure non-government schools can put appropriate hygiene measures in place, the Australian Government will provide an additional $10 million to improve COVID-19 hygiene measures in non-government schools that plan to have 50 per cent of their students back in the classroom by 1 June 2020. Special Circumstances funding will to help offset hygiene costs for items such as soap, hand sanitiser, classroom cleaning products and additional cleaning that may be required.
More information is available on the Special Circumstances - school hygiene assistance page.
Designated state authorities and school providers can find more information about accommodating international students, including flexible course delivery, in the Coronavirus regulatory information for DSAs and school providers fact sheet.
This page contains information for students, schools, designated state authorities and school providers. For the latest advice relevant to the education sector from Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) please visit the Department of Health’s website. For more information please view the International students page.