Dept Education Operating Guidelines and FAQs 2 Feb 2021

On 31 January 2021, the Premier announced a five-day lockdown for Perth, Peel and South West regions (based on the Regional Development Commissions Act regions).

As at 2 February 2021. A full list of schools to which this applies is available here: https://www.education.wa.edu.au/current- schooling-arrangements [1].

This is effective from 6.00pm Sunday 31 January 2021 until 6.00pm Friday 5 February 2021.

Operating guidelines

Operating guidelines

People in these regions must stay home unless:

  • shopping for food and necessary supplies
  • accessing medical or health requirements, including compassionate care for the vulnerable
  • exercising a maximum of two adults from the same household and their children, up to the maximum of five people for a period of one hour per day
  • working if they cannot work from home.

Masks must be worn at all times outside of the home, including in the workplace, during exercise and on public transport.

Schools in the affected zones of Perth metropolitan, Peel and South West regions will be closed until Monday 8 February 2021. This means, the school holiday period has been extended for one week for schools in these zones.

These schools are not open. Staff will not be on site or available to provide supervision to students. They are also not expected to provide remote learning to students during the week of lockdown.

Schools outside these regions remain open and will commence the school year as normal on Monday 1 February 2021.

Schools located in the lockdown zones should update school attendance records using the ‘Y’ code for the period of Monday 1 February 2021 to Friday 5 February 2021.

Students who live in a lockdown area but attend a school located outside of this area are not required to go to school. These students should be marked with an ‘E’ attendance code.

Staff who reside in a lockdown area but work at a school located outside the lockdown zones are able to travel to work, provided they have not visited any of the identified locations [2]. Staff who have visited identified locations should remain home and be tested: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/COVID... [3].

Staff who are required to travel outside the lockdown zones will need evidence of employment. Principals can request this through coronavirussupport@education.wa.edu.au [4].

Principals should enact their planning related to the COVID-19 response.

School staff working from home may use this week to prepare for the possibility of a move to remote learning should the need arise in the future.

Essential Central Services staff, for example Payroll, ICT and Directors of Education will continue to service schools.

For students who remain in residential and boarding facilities, supervision will be provided.

Teaching, learning and reporting arrangements

Are schools in the lockdown zones required to provide work for students this week?
  • No.
  • As per the Premier’s announcement, school holidays have been extended by one week. Impacted schools will commence Term 1, 2021 on Monday 8 February.
If parents would like to provide educational activities at home for their children, where can they go for help?
Is SIDE delivering learning during lockdown?
  • SIDE is working to deliver lessons as planned to any students enrolled in schools which are open.
  • The process for requesting enrolments or information remains unchanged.
Is Statewide Services continuing to provide service and support to schools?
  • Statewide Services is making all possible efforts to maintain regular service and support to schools which are open and to provide advice and support to other schools where practical and safe to do so.
  • All face-to-face professional learning within the lockdown zones for Week 1 has been cancelled, as has face-to-face professional learning in schools outside of these regions if the presenter/facilitator was travelling from a lockdown zone.
  • If you have registered for online professional learning in Week 1, you will be contacted by the organiser ahead of the event to confirm if it is proceeding.

School activities

How do I know if my school is open or closed?
Who can I contact if I need further information about the current lockdown?
Are schools in the lockdown zones open to provide supervision for the children of essential workers?
  • No.
  • School holidays have been extended for one week in these zones.
Are before and after school care, ie. Out of Schools Hours Care, able to open on school sites?
  • Yes.
  • Child care services on school grounds can continue where they are providing care to children of essential workers.
Will school buses run this week?
  • From Tuesday 2 February, there will be no school bus services for schools inside the lockdown zones.
  • School bus services will run as normal for schools outside of the lockdown zones.
  • Students who are unwell should not travel on the bus, and should stay home.
What if the schools affected in the lockdown areas have live animals and/or plants that need to be cared for or maintained?
  • Principals will determine who is required to undertake activities to provide the necessary animal welfare and garden maintenance.
  • Staff must wear masks when undertaking all duties on school grounds during the lockdown period and only conduct the necessary activities.
Can parents and carers go onto school sites in schools that remain open in non- lockdown areas?
How should we communicate with parents and carers?
  • Schools should utilise normal communication channels.
  • The Department will continue to provide up to date information as it becomes available.
Can activities planned for week 2 go ahead?
  • At this point in time, the lockdown is until 6.00pm Friday, 5 February 2021.
  • Schools will be kept updated and advised of any changes to the lockdown conditions or length of time.
Can a student who lives in a lockdown zone attend the school in which they’re enrolled if it is open within a non-lockdown zone?
  • No.
  • These students should remain home and be marked with an ‘E’ attendance code.
Will student census still go ahead as planned for Week 2, 2021?
  • Yes.
  • At this stage, census will go ahead as planned, however should the situation change, further advice will be provided.
Where can students and families access support for mental health and wellbeing during lockdown?
  • There are resources available to support students and their families. Details can be found at www.education.wa.edu.au/learning-at-home/support-s... [8].
  • Families are also encouraged to contact their schools to enquire about school based support, including chaplains and school psychology services.
Are schools in lockdown zones required to complete the end-of-month finance reporting for December 2020?
  • Yes, all schools are required to complete this requirement.
  • For schools in lockdown zones the end-of month reporting for December 2020 deadline has been extended until Wednesday 10 February 2021.
  • For schools who are not in the lockdown region the end of month finance reporting for December 2020 remains due on Friday 5 February 2021.
Should school faults, maintenance and building upgrades continue during the lockdown period?
  • Yes.
  • Schools will need to ensure a staff member is available to provide access to the school site for these activities to be undertaken.
  • Contractors who come to site are expected to comply with State Directions regarding COVID-19. This includes the requirements for face masks, physical distancing, hygiene measures and complying with requirements if they have visited identified locations.
  • Any concerns relating to maintenance or capital works should be directed to Steven.Parry@education.wa.edu.au [9], your facilities manager at Program Facilities Maintenance or your local Department of Finance contact.
What are examples of critical functions that need to be undertaken by school administration teams during lockdown?
  • Activities related to payroll, including processing of commencement and movement advices, payment of casual staff, and payroll certification, should be completed to ensure no staff member is disadvantaged during this time.
During lockdown, what attendance codes should I record for students in my school?
  • For schools in lockdown zones the ‘Y’ attendance code should be applied.
  • Schools outside of the lockdown zones should continue to use attendance codes as per usual.
  • For students who are unable to attend due to residing in a lockdown zone, but enrolled in a school which is open, an ‘E’ code should be used.
Who do schools contact if they have queries about in-term swimming lessons?

Workforce and leave

Do I need to take leave if I’m working from home?
  • No.
Can staff travel from their place of residence in a lockdown zone if they work in a school which is open?
Is it only principals who can enter the school site in a lockdown zone?
  • No.
  • Staff who are undertaking necessary activities should keep their time on site to a minimum.
Can staff who have driven from a lockdown zone come to work in a school which is open?
What are the conditions for school staff who reside in lockdown zones who travel daily to work in a school outside of the zones?
  • School staff who reside in lockdown zones are permitted to travel daily to work in a school outside of the zones, provided they adhere to the conditions outlined in the lockdown advice (Stay at Home and Closure (Perth, Peel and the South West Regions Directions No. 2 under 18.F (iv)) for Perth, Peel and the South West regions.
  • This includes conditions regarding wearing a mask outside of the home and at workplaces.
  • Staff are only permitted to remove masks when clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential as captured under 4.c of the Face Covering Directions (this may include providing teaching or instruction to students), however, these staff members should wear masks at all other times.
  • Staff who have visited any of the identified locations at https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavir... [2] should remain home and be tested.
  • Staff who are required to travel outside the lockdown zones will need evidence of employment. Principals can request this through coronavirussupport@education.wa.edu.au [4]
What are the conditions for staff who relocated to an area outside of a lockdown zone, after the Perth, Peel and South West region lockdown came into effect?
  • Staff who left a lockdown zone on or after 6pm Sunday 31 January 2021 are required to adhere to the conditions outlined in the lockdown advice (Stay at Home and Closure (Perth, Peel and the South West Regions Directions No. 2) at their new location.
  • This includes wearing a mask outside of the home and at workplaces for the duration of the lockdown period.
  • Staff are only permitted to remove masks when clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential as captured under 4.c of the Face Covering Directions (this may include providing teaching or instruction to students), however, these staff members should wear masks at all other times.
  • Staff should also stay home unless you are shopping for essential groceries, accessing medical or health care, providing care or support to a relative or other person with particular needs, exercising with one other person from your household (limited to 1 hour per day in your neighbourhood with masks being worn).
  • Further information relating to lockdown conditions can be found at: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-t... [11]
  • Staff who have visited any of the identified locations at https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavir... [2] should remain home and be tested.
What mental health and wellbeing support is available for staff during this time?
Will I be paid if I am not physically attending work during the five-day lockdown?
  • Yes.
  • Staff will have their salary maintained as if they were physically attending work.
What happens to payments for casual staff in schools during the five-day lockdown?
  • Consistent with PSLR Circular 7 and central government advice, if a casual staff member was rostered on, or had a documented expectation to undertake work during the five-day period, then salary is to be maintained as if the individual did attend work during this period.
Can leave be cancelled and re-credited to employees during the five-day lockdown?
  • Consistent with the COVID-19 Workforce Information, principals and managers should use discretion and consider the reason why an employee wants to have leave re-credited.
  • This includes consideration of the length of the leave taken, the type of leave and the individual circumstances.
  • The lockdown does not automatically mean that employees leave type is replaced or cancelled. Many forms of leave will not need to be recredited.
  • Refer to the COVID-19 Workforce Information [13].
  • Further detailed advice can sought from labourrelations.queries@education.wa.edu.au [14]

Health, hygiene and cleaning

If I’m required to be at school, is it mandatory to wear a mask on the school site in the lockdown zone?
  • Yes.
  • The WA Government has outlined the requirements for masks on the WA.gov.au [15]website.
Do students and staff in schools outside of the lockdown zones need to wear masks?
  • No.
  • Residential facilities should follow their pandemic preparedness plan.



This information is provided by Recovery Coordination [16]

This information can be found in these topics -COVID - Health and hygiene[17], COVID - Workforce [18], COVID - Curriculum and learning[19], COVID - Principal / line manager support and advice[20], COVID - School operations [21]

Contact information

Coronavirus support for principals and senior staff

Telephone Office: 1800 882 345

Email: coronavirussupport@education.wa.edu.au

NOTE: Education support for principals and senior staff only. All health queries should be referred to the Department of Health.

Reference Links

  1. https://www.education.wa.edu.au/current-schooling-arrangements
  2. https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/Locations-visited-by-confirmed-cases
  3. https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/COVID-clinics
  4. mailto:coronavirussupport@education.wa.edu.au
  5. https://www.education.wa.edu.au/learning-at-home
  6. https://www.education.wa.edu.au/dl/e01pvqm
  7. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/-/week-4-term-2-2020-review-operating-guidelines-for-wa-public-schools
  8. http://www.education.wa.edu.au/learning-at-home/support-services-and-resources
  9. mailto:Steven.Parry@education.wa.edu.au
  10. mailto:interm-metro@education.wa.edu.au
  11. https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-what-you-can- and-cant-do
  12. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/-/find-support-for-staff-wellbeing-during-covid-19
  13. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/-/covid-19-workforce-management-principles-for-school-leaders-and-managers
  14. mailto:labourrelations.queries@education.wa.edu.au
  15. http://WA.gov.au
  16. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/-/recovery-coordination
  17. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/services/browse/-/categories/business-topic/covid-health-and-hygiene
  18. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/services/browse/-/categories/business-topic/covid-workforce
  19. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/services/browse/-/categories/business-topic/covid-curriculum-and-learning
  20. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/services/browse/-/categories/business-topic/covid-principal-/-line-manager- support-and-advice
  21. https://ikon.education.wa.edu.au/services/browse/-/categories/business-topic/covid-school-operations