Today’s announcement that Victoria will follow the lead of NSW and require mandatory vaccination for all staff in schools across Victoria raises many questions for school leaders across the State.
Since the announcement in NSW school principals have been inundated with questions from staff and parents surrounding this proposal and the broader issues that it has triggered. The Christian Schools Australia office has also received a large number of emails and calls from staff and parents. Some have been associated with our schools, but a number have been from those working in other sectors, including Government and Catholic schools.
The most recent COVID-19 Recovery Tracker report (ORIMA.com.au) on 3 September still indicated that 12% of those unvaccinated don’t intend to get vaccinated, and a further 13% will get vaccinated only if they have to, or would not say.
“We don’t expect that the staff in Christian schools will riot across the streets of Melbourne as we have seen over the last few days,” said the Christian Schools Australia Director of Public Policy, Mark Spencer, “however, on the basis of the research, and the responses from the construction industry workers, there is clearly widespread public concern.”
“If the concern in the wider population is reflected across the education sector, we can expect significant challenges for all schools as these measures are implemented should staff refuse to be vaccinated”.
“Making school staff a priority for vaccination we have fully supported, and we approached the Federal Government about that,” he said, “but mandating vaccination is a significant step beyond this”.
“State Governments need to address the concerns in the broader community and focus on providing education and information.”
“Schools have always followed stringent procedures to ensure that schools have been COVIDsafe”, Mr Spencer said, “they will continue to do so as the safety of students and staff is their top priority.”
Download Media Release