COVID-19

Information and advice for students, whānau, and the education sector.

This page was updated on Monday 27 July at 4:10 pm.

Alert Level 1

New Zealand is at Alert Level 1.

More information about Alert Level 1(external link)

He Pānui | Bulletins  

Early learning bulletin

3 July 2020 Early Learning Bulletin(external link)

Previous versions of He Pānui Kōhungahunga | The Early Learning Bulletin

School bulletin

3 July 2020 Bulletin for School Leaders(external link)

Previous versions of the Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders | He Pitopito Kōrero

Tertiary bulletin

COVID-19 bulletin for tertiary providers - 6 August 2020 [DOCX, 268 KB]

Previous versions of the COVID-19 bulletins for tertiary education providers and students

Ministry of Education COVID-19 information

Revised guidance on assessing for COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has updated its guidance on assessing for COVID-19.

There is currently no known community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

The vast majority of adults, children and young people with the following will not have Covid-19:

  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny nose.
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing.
  • Temporary loss of smell.

However, people who are close contacts of confirmed cases, or have recently travelled or had contact with recent travellers, should get assessed.

You can Ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your GP for advice on whether or not you or your children or whānau need to be tested.

Confirmed, probable or possible cases linked to your school

As anticipated, new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as New Zealanders return home.

Testing for possible cases and those presenting with symptoms continues, with more than 340,000 people tested in New Zealand as at 22 June.

If there is a confirmed case in your school

While unlikely at Alert Level 1, if there was a confirmed or probable case linked with your school or early learning service, you would be advised of that by the Medical Officer of Health or your local public health authority (or local Ministry of Education staff working in conjunction with local health authorities).
 
Our regional staff will work with you and local health authorities to agree a plan. That will happen quickly and support will be provided to assist you to communicate with and support your community and staff.
 
If you become aware of a case associated with your school or early learning service and haven’t received notification from health authorities, please contact your local public health unit or your local Ministry of Education contact for information and support:

Local health authorities through the Medical Officer of Health will make the decision about whether a school or service needs to close for a period of time, and will determine who is required to undertake self-isolation.

Who needs to stay away?

Unless directed by the Medical Officer of Health, the only people who need to stay away are those who are:

  • Unwell.
  • Self-isolating (at the request of health authorities).
  • Waiting for COVID test results.

Everyone else should be at school.
 
Anyone who is a contact of a ‘close contact’ is not required to self-isolate. Close contacts are self-isolating as a precaution only, and will monitor for symptoms.
 
For example - a staff member who had close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 will be asked by health authorities to self-isolate for 14 days from when they last had contact with the confirmed case. Their family members and other close contacts of the staff member are not required to self-isolate unless they have also had close contact with a confirmed case.

Guidance – all in one place

We have summarised the existing health and safety requirements for each Alert Level into one document:

Health and Safety in schools for COVID-19 – Guidance for Alert Levels 1 – 4
 
As new information comes to hand, the information in this summary guidance might change. If this occurs, we will quickly advise you, update the summary guide for levels 1 – 4 and disseminate.
 
Our regional teams continue to be available to support you if you have any questions or concerns.

International education recovery plan announced

(27 July 2020)

A long-term recovery plan for the international education sector will include a $51.6 million investment from the COVID recovery and response fund to help reset New Zealand’s international education sector.

The Plan consists of three concurrent work streams that focus on stabilising the international education sector, strengthening the system and accelerating the transformation of the sector as signalled in the 2018 International Education Strategy.

It includes the following investments:

  • $20 million in support for state and state-integrated schools for the remainder of 2020 to continue teaching and providing pastoral care to international students who remain in New Zealand.
  • $10 million for Private Training Establishments (PTEs) including English language schools to buffer the sharp decline in revenue and maintain a foundation of PTEs for the recovery phase.
  • $10 million to develop new future-focused products and services to drive growth in our system onshore and offshore, to ensure a more resilient sector. This will include:
    • Allowing students to begin studying from their home country to provide greater flexibility for learners and make our international education sector more resilient to shocks such as COVID-19.
    • A unified digital platform to provide a single strong New Zealand brand and presence to enable providers to deliver study programmes to more people offshore.
  • $6.6 million to continue the pastoral care and other activities for international students, subject to the proposed cancellation of the Export Education Levy until the end of 2021.
  • $3 million for marketing and brand promotion activities to keep New Zealand’s education brand visible in key markets while travel is restricted. 
  • $1.5 million for English Language Schools to deliver English language training to migrants to help them to succeed in our schools and communities.
  • $500k for NZQA to ensure the quality of New Zealand education being delivered offshore, and to carry on strengthening the ongoing quality assurance processes to enhance the global recognition of New Zealand qualifications.

Further details for PTEs and English language schools.

Further details for state and state-integrated schools.

You can find out more information on the plan and what it will mean for the sector on Education New Zealand’s website:

International education recovery plan - Education New Zealand website(external link)

Cabinet Paper

New education funding to address wellbeing needs as a result of COVID-19

The Government has announced a $66 million package in new funding to support the immediate wellbeing of our learners and educators as a result of COVID-19.

The package includes a $50 million Urgent Response Fund. This will provide immediate support to centre-based early learning services, schools and kura to improve attendance, and to help manage any learning, social, emotional, mental, or other child and youth wellbeing needs directly related to COVID-19. Another $16 million is to support educator wellbeing for the employees of publicly funded early learning services, kōhanga reo, school and kura and their familiesFor more information, go to the news story: $66 million for learner and educator wellbeing.

Flutracking

Flutracking is an online survey which asks if you have had a fever or cough in the last week and which can help us track COVID-19.

Registering online will help our surveillance efforts by providing early detection of community spread of the flu and also of COVID-19 symptoms. 

This is a practical thing everyone can do to help us monitor flu and COVID-19 symptoms throughout NZ.

Register for Flutracking online(external link)

 

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