COVID-19 Information

Information and advice for Parent Associations

Restrictions eased for Term 4

The Education Directorate's current Road Map details COVID plans for schools. Parents are still asked to avoid entering the school, but can attend scheduled events such as meetings with teachers. 
It includes the following of interest to P&Cs. 

Meetings

Meetings will now be allowed on school sites!

Fundraisers

These events can now involve the community, including parents, to a maximum of 500 people (excluding students and staff), as long as the distancing restrictions of 4m2 per person indoors or 2 m2 per person outside can be met.

Discos

P&C-run discos outside of school hours can be held as long as:

  • the maximum capacity of the room/hall is observed for parents/carers in attendance (not counting staff and students), up to a maximum of 100
  • good hygiene is followed - eg the provision of hand sanitiser
  • social distancing is maintained. Think carefully about queuing of adults, eg for pick-up/drop-off/signing in. You may need markers to keep people 1.5m apart.
  • attendance records are kept (for contact-tracing if needed)

Working bees

P&C working bees can be held on school grounds as long as:

  • the maximum capacity of the room/space is observed
  • social distancing and good hygiene is followed
  • attendance records are kept (for contact-tracing if needed)

End of year events

ACT schools are now able to invite two guests per graduating student, up to a maximum of 500 (excluding students and staff), to graduation ceremonies. If held on school grounds, density requirements (one person per 4 m2) will not need to be adhered to. This means that, in most cases, parents and carers will be able to attend their child's graduation ceremony in person. Physical distancing between adult visitors and hygiene measures are still required.  The rules for formals have also been relaxed. All the details here. As of 13 November, schools are working to apply these new rules to their plans and should let families shortly.

General information for P&Cs

For information about impacts on P&C activities and leading your P&C in uncertain times see our eBulletins:

17 March - COVID19 special edition - Includes decision making in uncertain times, financial impacts, cancelling events and food handling and hygiene tips for canteens
12 May - preparing to return - includes tips for safely operating school-based uniform shops and canteens
28 July - COVID fundraising and events - includes information to help you decide about upcoming fetes, discos, election stalls and other events; plus ideas for fundraising in the pandemic

The ACNC also has information for Charities and other not-for-profits about operating during the COVID19 crisis.

Our top tips for P&Cs right now:

  • Go back to your main goals, they will guide how you respond to the crisis and restrictions
  • Ensure your organisation is complying with the latest Government advice and restrictions
  • It is up to your Association's Office Bearers to make decisions about the future of the association. These should be ratified in meetings. Keep good records of all circumstances and decisions made.
  • Will you be solvent? Your P&C must not continue to operate when not financially solvent. If you are worried that your P&C could run out of funds to meet your obligations, please contact us .

Canteens and other P&C businesses

Help Line
The ACT Government's business liaison help line is a great place for advice and details of regulations on activities (can my canteen use cash? (yes), can we run a sausage sizzle (also yes)): 6205 0900

Training for staff on COVID Hygiene
ACT Health and the CIT are providing Free infection control training for workplaces, including for food businesses. It's online and takes around 18 hours. Enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (6207 3196)

Employee payments
For information on ATO payments for P&C employers (including JobKeeper subsidies and Boosting Cash Flow payments), see the COVID Not-for-Profits section of the ATO website or call the Not -for-Profits helpline: 1300 130 248

Canteens need COVID plan
From June 5, all Food Businesses in the ACT are required to have a written Covid Safety Plan, available in the canteen for inspection by Health Protection Services Inspectors. To assist, Council has created this template (doc) for a simple plan for your canteen - for you to review and modify to reflect your circumstances. Also useful: Worksafe ACT cleaning factsheetComprehensive Federal Government CovidSafe business planning worksheet

Canteen Hygiene
In addition to the above links, there are resources and tips for canteen hygiene in these issues of our eBulletin: 12 May - preparing to return.
Decisions about accepting cash and opening over the counter sales should be made in consultation with your school and staff.

Food Business Registration
The Health Protection Service has advised that in cases where food business registration has been prepaid for more than one year in advance, an additional 12 months will be added to the license. This support will be applied automatically as part of the normal annual fee licensing process.

Help for parents

See this guide for parents of younger children.

The Commonwealth Department of Health has published the Return to School for Students with Disability COVID-19 Risk Management Plan  to help families and schools prepare for the return to school.

The NBN has an assistance package for families struggling to afford internet connection, see the last item in this eBulletin.

More information

Check our Facebook feed for updates.

The Education Directorate have details on current school arrangements and restrictions, plus FAQ for families. And guides and resources for home learning.

Please regularly check the latest advice from ACT Health, available from www.health.act.gov.au

 

Last updated 12 september 2020.