L3 primary students may return to school Nov 15

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

The Government has set an indicative date of primary schools returning of November 15, while it gathers advice around a possible staged approach of the younger students returning to school.

Rear view of large group of students raising their arms to answer the question on a class at elementary school.

Currently, Auckland and large parts of Waikato are in Level 3, with Year 11-13 secondary students able to return to schools in Auckland from October 26.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said Year 9 and 10s would not be able to return yet.

Hipkins said the issue with Year 9s and 10s was the "concentration" of students at high schools, saying along with the older secondary students it would see those schools "quite full".

He said they needed to talk with the sector, but he would like to see those students back at school this year, "if that’s possible".

However, the education sector was pulling advice on "how we could manage a staged approach" to primary schools. 

That could included groups of primary students attending on different days, with more learning outside possible. 

He said the November 15 start date depended on the Covid situation at the time, and that getting back to school would have a positive approach. 

Hipkins said those in Year 11-13 could prepared for their end of year exams and complete their NCEA assessments. 

Staff must present a negative Covid test, and staff and student at higher risk of Covid must stay home.