Secretary for Education Iona Holsted has issued a direction under the Education and Training Act 2020 to all registered schools conducting senior examinations in any COVID-19 Alert Level 3 area.
Issued on October 13, it reads:
Under clause 3 of Schedule 25 to the Education and Training Act 2020 I direct the governing bodies of all registered schools who conduct senior examinations in any Alert Level 3 area to comply with the following requirements from 13 October 2021:
1. Students may not attend school to sit examinations unless the following conditions can be met:
A In the opinion of the principal or professional leader (as the case may be) of the school it is necessary to conduct examinations in person and on site; and
B Where students physically attend school, the governing body of the school ensures that overall numbers are kept as low as possible and;
(a) Physical distancing is observed at all times between individuals – 1m inside and 2m outside and gatherings are confined to organised bubbles;
(b) Desks are appropriately spaced to allow the necessary distance between all candidates and supervisors, with 1.5 metres between desks in all directions;
(c) Students are organised into bubbles of no more than 10, teaching staff are in addition to that number;
(d) The student make-up of each bubble does not change throughout the examination period;
(e) Bubbles can share the same space as other bubbles but must remain physically distanced from other bubbles by a minimum of two metres inside or outside in the school grounds, or on their way to or from the school;
(f) A teacher is not associated with more than one bubble of students (but a bubble of students can have more than one teacher assigned);
(g) Rigorous hand washing and drying is adhered to and hand sanitiser is available at the entrance to classrooms;
(h) Students and teachers are asked to go home if they are unwell;
(i) Physical distancing requirements are met at entry and exit points at the school and in classrooms;
(j) Indoor spaces are well ventilated;
(k) There is a plan in place to meet any changed COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) that have been signalled to be in place when exams are held.
C The governing body of the school has caused to be sent to me in a form I have provided, an attestation that the above requirements have been met.
2. Every governing body of a registered school must ensure that their school complies with all applicable COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Orders in all other respects.
I am satisfied that the making of this direction is reasonably necessary to manage adverse effects, mitigate the consequences and facilitate co-ordination of senior secondary education in response to the outbreak of COVID -19.
In this direction:
Alert Level 3 area has the same meaning as defined in the applicable COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order 2021.
Terms in this direction that are defined in the Education and Training Act 2020 have the same meanings defined in that Act.
Relationship to August Direction
The Direction Under the Education and Training Act 2020 to all Registered Schools Offering Education to Years 12 and 13 in the COVID-19 Alert Level 3 Area (2021-go3733) remains in place, but does not apply to the holding of examinations