COVID-19 information for parents and carers

Please visit the Learning Together website for resources and advice to assist parents and carers support their children to continue their learning from home.

For advice on the department’s back-to-school plan, read the COVID-19 Return to School – Term 1, 2022 PDF (164.9 KB).

The Northern Territory (NT) Department of Education (the department) would like to sincerely thank students, parents, carers and the broader school community for their ongoing support for our educators in schools and early childhood education and care services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department has implemented a number of strategies and support services for schools and early childhood education and care services to continue to operate safely.

The department will continue to follow the advice and directions of the NT Chief Health Officer (CHO) and the Australian Protection Principal Committee on the operation of schools and services.

Keeping our kids, staff and communities safe as we manage and adapt to COVID-19 in the NT is our highest priority.

Returning to school

The Territory has a back-to-school plan in place, in line with the national approach, to ensure Territory students can return to school on time for Term 1, face-to-face with minimal disruption to their schooling. The three main objectives are:

  • Keeping our kids safe
  • Keeping our kids in school
  • Supporting our school and early childhood education and care services staff

Read more about the Territory’s back-to-school plan.

Keeping schools and students safe

The department has implemented a number of safety measures in schools to ensure students and staff can continue to learn and teach safely. Some of these include:

  • Students, children and staff to stay home when unwell or if they experience symptoms of COVID-19
  • All NT Department of Education staff are fully vaccinated and eligible students aged 5 and above are encouraged to get vaccinated
  • Health and hygiene measures such as available hand sanitiser for students, staff and visitors, hygiene education for students, additional preventative cleaning measures and physical distancing where possible
  • Air-conditioning systems in every government school meet or exceed relevant standards for fresh air intake and circulation
  • 500 portable air purifiers will be provided to schools that don’t have central air conditioning systems. An additional 150 are on order
  • Students from Year 7 to 12, as well as all staff, must wear masks when there is a mask mandate in place. Students in Year 3 and above are encouraged to wear masks
  • All schools have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that will be updated every six months, and demonstrates how the school meets the Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions, for example with physical distancing and hygiene
  • Schools are encouraged to prioritise interactions, including cohorting where possible, learning in smaller groups and maximising outdoor learning
  • Excursions and extra-curricular activities outside of school grounds will be paused in government schools for the first four weeks of Term 1, 2022.

You can access a keeping kids safe resource PDF (125.8 KB).

Information about air flow and ventilation in schools:

School attendance and learning from home

It is understandable that some parents and carers may feel anxious about sending their children to school while COVID-19 cases are rising in the community; however, it’s important for children and young people to continue attending school to maximise positive learning and wellbeing outcomes.

If you decide to keep your children at home, there are online resources available via the Learning Together website to assist you in supporting your children to continue learning from home.

The Learning Together website also includes wellbeing advice to support the health and wellbeing of children and families.

Talking to your child about COVID-19

It’s natural for your child to be curious about COVID-19 so be sure to listen to them and answer their questions as honestly as possible and correct any misunderstandings. This will help them feel informed and understand what is happening.

Stay up to date with facts from reliable sources so you can keep conversations calm, considered and constructive. Provide information in words that are appropriate for the age of your child.

Emerging Minds, Beyond Blue and Red Cross offer useful information online for parents and carers talking to children about COVID-19.

You can find tips on talking to your child about the COVID-19 vaccine PDF (483.6 KB).

Advice on wellbeing support for children and families

Contact the school if you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing to discuss the most appropriate support.

You can also seek support from:

Further information

You are encouraged to stay informed of the latest developments relating to COVID-19 by regularly visiting the Coronavirus NT website.

If you have further questions relating to COVID-19 you can contact the NT COVID-19 hotline on 1800 490 484 or the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Last updated: 03 March 2022

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