26 September 2023

Green light on go for happy school campers

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The Department of Education has announced that school camps can begin again in Term Two, based on the latest health advice.

School camps were postponed or cancelled under high COVID-19 caseloads in February in order to keep schools and childcare centres operating safely.

Minister for Education and Training, Sue Ellery said the announcement, following advice from the Chief Health Officer, was welcome news for school communities, with camps being a highly valuable part of student education, skills building and wellbeing.

“They also form part of the curriculum in areas such as outdoor education, health and physical education, the arts and leadership,” Ms Ellery said.

In a statement, the Department said it had developed risk assessments and guidelines for schools to use which had been prepared based on advice from the Chief Health Officer.

“This includes the requirement for schools to be provided with a copy of the camp provider’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, which must meet the Guidelines for School Camp Providers prepared in accordance with the Chief Health Officer’s advice,” the Department said.

“School plans will require schools to provide Rapid Antigen Tests and make isolation arrangements for anyone that shows COVID-19-like symptoms, who tests positive or is identified as a close contact.”

It said schools must also continue to support regular hygiene practices, physically distancing where possible and cohorting student groups.

Ms Ellery said school camps were an important opportunity for students to step outside of their usual environment, push their boundaries with new experiences and develop a range of social skills.

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