UPDATE: NSW LOCKDOWN EXTENDED FOR ANOTHER SEVEN DAYS
A new COVID-risk rating system will be introduced in NSW to determine whether or not schools will be closed as the state continues to battle outbreaks of the virus.
Students in Greater Sydney will go back to learning remotely from home when term three starts next week, according to media reports. Regional NSW students will return to face-to-face learning.
But moving forward, 7NEWS understands a new system will be used to make calls on school closures.
It’s understood the new system will have four levels of classification for schools.
Level one would mean normal learning in school, with students in classrooms.
Schools could be classified as levels two and three when outbreaks occur locally.
That would mean restrictions would be placed on things like interschool sport, parental access to school and camping and excursions.
A level four classification would mean the school is shut and students undergo remote learning from home.
Geoff Newcombe from the Association of Independent Schools NSW welcomed the new system.
“This is a far better system than having either you’re open or your closed,” he told 7NEWS.
But the Delta variant of COVID, which is currently circulating around Sydney, has left teachers worried.
The strain has a higher infection rate among children, ramping up calls to make vaccinations for teachers a priority.
“Teachers are very anxious, they’re very concerned,” Angelo Gavrielatos from the NSW Teacher’s Federation said.
“Forty-seven per cent of teachers are under the age of 40 and 72 per cent are under the age of 50.”
While students in Greater Sydney won’t be back in classrooms next week, regional schools will return to face-to-face learning.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to announce an extension of Greater Sydney’s lockdown on Wednesday.
That means millions of residents wouldn’t leave lockdown until 11.59pm on Friday July 16, at the earliest.