Teacher shortage looms as thousands still remain unvaccinated despite looming deadline – while NSW infection numbers fall further
- NSW recorded 296 new local Covid cases and four deaths on Sunday
- From Monday students primary and high schools will welcome back all students
- However, there is concerns about 3,000 are yet to get their second vaccine jab
NSW is facing the prospect of a looming teacher shortage as thousands of educators remain unvaccinated despite being given a deadline to get jab or lose their jobs.
Covid case numbers continue to drop with 296 new infections and four deaths recorded on Sunday with nearly 85 per cent of the state double-vaccinated.
The high vaccine rates mean from Monday students in Years 2 to 11 will return to in-person learning in the classroom, with those in kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 already having returned last week.
But there are now concerns there could be a shortage of teachers to front their classes, with about 3,000 still not fully vaccinated.
Students in Years 2 to 11 have been given the green light by the NSW government to return to in-person classes from Monday though there are concerns whether there will be enough teachers (pictured: NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet)
Students in Years 2 to 11 are set to return to school from Monday but high schoolers and teachers will need to wear masks indoors (pictured: a Year 1 student returned to school on October 18)
In NSW, teaching staff have been mandated to have their second Covid jab by November 8.
As of Friday about 95 per cent of school staff members are understood to have been vaccinated – with the remaining 5 per cent amounting to about 3000 teachers.
Some of those 3,000 may have not had the chance to get jabbed since the edict was put in place, while others may be resisting vaccination.
‘That presents serious challenges in terms of the organisation of a school in terms of ensuring that we have staff in front of every classroom and our timetabled classes proceed unaffected,’ Angelo Gavrielatos from the NSW Teacher’s Federation said.
About 160 schools are understood to be seeking help from the Education Department to boost staff numbers.
Among the new rules both students and teachers will have to get used to when classes resume are that everyone with the exception of primary school students is required to wear a mask indoors.
Physical distancing will also need to be maintained indoors and windows kept open.
Parents will also be barred from visiting inside the school grounds.
The latest figures from NSW Health show 93 per cent of the state’s eligible population over 16 have had one Covid vaccine dose and 84.4 are fully vaccinated.
A vaccination push is currently being held this weekend for the 22.9 per cent of children aged 12 to 15 who have not yet received a first dose .
More than 40 clinics across the state will offer walk-in Pfizer appointments for kids as they get ready to return to class.
About 46.08 per cent of this age group are double vaccinated and 77.11 per cent have had one dose.
The reopening of schools is another major step at towards leaving lockdowns behind with most businesses in the state welcoming back customers earlier this month.
Fully vaccinated NSW residents can now visit the hairdresser, sit down at a restaurant, grab a drink at the pub and workout at the gym.
The reopening of school is another step out of lockdowns with businesses in Sydney welcoming back fully vaccinated customers earlier this month, though masks are still needed indoors (pictured: a Sydney barber in October)
WHEN DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK IN NSW?
Rules for mask wearing from Monday in NSW:
All people over the age of 12 must wear a face mask in:
– Indoor areas (for example, shopping or in a library)
– Indoor areas of common property in apartment buildings
– At public transport waiting areas
– While on public transport
– While working at a hospitality venue dealing directly with patrons
– On an aircraft when flying above NSW and in the airport
Masks are no longer mandatory outside