From 1 January 2022, schools, early learning services and education providers will need to ensure only vaccinated staff and support personnel have contact with children and students.
This breadth of coverage is intended to afford the greatest possible protection to our tamariki, ourselves, and communities.
All staff members who work in early learning services, schools and kura will be required to have a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.
Schools will also need to maintain a COVID-19 vaccination register.
TeachNZ scholarship applicants will need to confirm that they can meet this expectation in order to take up the scholarship.
We will be working with unions to consider the implications for those people who cannot be vaccinated. Our objective will be to retain as many people in employment while ensuring public health.
In order to keep this scholarship, you need to meet the study and teaching requirements outlined in the terms and conditions. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of the scholarship will mean that you are liable to repay all or a proportion of the scholarship fees and allowances paid.
Schools and kura will record each person’s testing status in a secure and confidential manner in line with their usual obligations under the Privacy Act. Given the sensitivity of the information being collected, schools and kura should ensure that unauthorised access to the information is not able to occur.
Schools and kura may accept any proof which assures them that the staff member is fully vaccinated. This may be an email, immunisation card, or SMS that the staff member has received from their vaccine or medical provider, the Book My Vaccine website or the My COVID Record website.
A number of jurisdictions overseas have already adopted mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in education settings, such as Victoria, New South Wales, Washington, the Northern Territory and New York City:
We’ve had a number of teaching staff and principals asking what they can (and cannot) say to their school community about vaccination.
School leaders and teachers have a strong influence on learners and their understanding of the world because of the trusted position they hold.
Public health advice cannot be clearer: vaccinations are the most significant tool we have to reduce the risk of serious illness in our communities. If most of us are vaccinated, we can also reduce the risk of outbreaks which can lead to lockdowns and put our health system under pressure.
As members of the public service, school leaders and school staff should promote to learners' public health advice about the need for vaccinations, but they should not put pressure on individuals to get vaccinated or not get vaccinated.
Staff are welcome to share their own vaccination status at any time, however employers cannot do so without the individual’s permission.
COVID-19 requirements for schools will be kept up to date in the Ministry Bulletins:
For general information about the governments COVID-19 response:
For information about mandatory vaccinations for workers:
To view the “Mandatory vaccination for two workforces” release by the Hon Chris Hipkins: