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25 January, 2022
P&Cs need to know...
Term 1 school arrangements

School will begin, as planned, on January 31 for new students and February 1 for all returning students. The COVID-safe measures in place will be very similar to those of Term 4 last year, but with the addition of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) being provided to all families.

Details of the arrangements are available on the Education Directorate (EDU) website: 
Restrictions for P&Cs
All in-school P&C activities, must follow the Health Guidelines for schools. Please do look at the document, but note that it includes:
  • Parents or carers can only enter schools with an appointment, or if they are an essential P&C volunteer or staff member (eg for running contactless fundraisers or essential services like uniform shops and canteens).
  • Adults must physically distance, with 1 person per 2 square metres
  • Adults must wear masks when on school grounds (usual exceptions apply)
  • All visitors, P&C staff and volunteers must check into the site each time they arrive using the CBR check-in app
  • Volunteers, staff and visitors must not attend the school site if unwell, and go home immediately if they become unwell, after informing the school
  • Good hand and respiratory hygiene practices are vital, and must be encouraged with posters etc and made possible with santiser etc.
  • Note the vaccine mandate in some schools
  • All on-site P&C activities require a COVID-safe plan. We have templates for these on our COVID Information Page.
P&C Meetings
P&C meetings cannot be conducted on school grounds in Term 1. Online meetings remain the safest option. Check out this article on running Better Online Meetings, or this one sharing the experience of a couple of our P&Cs.
Contactless fundraisers with minimal volunteers on school sites are permitted - for example a cookie drive with drive-through pick up. A written COVID-safe plan is required. We have a template plan for you customise for your needs.
Download Fundraising COVID-plan TEMPLATE
P&C-run uniform shops
Uniform shops can open with a COVID-safe plan in place (as per last year). Use our template as a starting point for yours.

Counter services can be offered so that parents can come onto site, by appointment, to help children try on clothes. Click and collect is still preferred. Minimal parent volunteers, essential for running these services are permitted on school grounds. 
Download Uniform Shop COVID-plan TEMPLATE
P&C-run canteens
Canteen services, including counter service are permitted, in consultation with the school principal, and with a COVID-safe plan in place (as per last year). We have a tamplate plan if you need it. 
Download Canteen COVID-plan TEMPLATE
RATs and P&C personnel

While Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be distributed to school students and staff, P&C staff and volunteers are not included. This is due to lack of supply.  The exception is for staff running After School Care services. They will get free RATs as part of the Early Childhood Education and Care sector.

Health advice continues to be that only people with COVID-like symptoms need to be tested and that this can take place free of charge at any of the ACT's testing facilities.
Council happenings
Thanks for all the feedback

In response to our call on Council delegates, we were inundated with lots of valuable feedback on what parents wanted for the return to school. We are really grateful for all the feedback, especially to those who took the time out of their holidays to seek, gather and collate views from your school communities. These perspectives helped us to reflect the voice of parents on the return to school in our discussions with the Education Directorate and Minister's office.

What we heard:
  • Most parents feel worried and anxious about the return to school, but about 10% are keen and confident.
  • The major concerns were that the family would become ill, that learning would be disrupted, and that we'd have more home learning. Concerns for children's wellbeing and mental health were common, as were particular concerns about returning before primary school children were double-vaccinated.
  • Many parents wanted to delay the start of school, but an equal number wanted school to open at the normal time for face-to-face learning.
  • Good information is crucial for parents, including wanting to know about COVID cases in your child's cohort.
  • Parents want great care taken that unwell children are not sent to school.
  • About 20% of parents said they'd like regular RAT testing.
  • There were many detailed and thoughtful comments on many aspects including communications with parents, and ventilation. 
We encourage you to continue to tell us your views on the return to school plans - email us.
Council staff changes

We're pleased to introduce our new Executive Officer and Policy Officer

Executive Officer: Veronica Elliott

Veronica comes to the role with decades of experience in the P&C space and a track record of bringing P&Cs, parents, carers, government and stakeholders together to find practical and effective outcomes for school families. She's also passionate about providing great member services to our school P&Cs - so that you have everything you need for success.

Many of our members will already know Veronica from her passionate work as our Policy Officer.

Policy Officer: David Pollard

David has years of experience in leading a large and effective P&C, getting parents involved and engaging the community. He also has a keen aptitude for strategy and policy solutions, and is a bit of a guru with grants which we hope to put to good use!

As a former Council Executive member, David also has a great view of the big picture in which we work.
Upcoming events
  • Executive Meeting, Tuesday 8 February, 7pm start
  • Council General Meeting, Tuesday 22 February, 7-9pm, via Zoom. All welcome.
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Copyright © 2021 ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations Inc. All rights reserved.
Comment authorised by Veronica Elliott for the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations Inc.

Our mailing address is:
ACT P&C Council
Maitland House
100 Maitland Street

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