COVID-19: Latest updates from MOE 

Last updated: Thursday 4 June 2020 at 8.30am

COVID-19 update - 3 June 

We are at Alert Level 2.

Schools and early learning services are open on-site to all under Alert Level 2. All are safe to attend and additional public health measures are in place. It is important that all children come to school and early learning.

Tertiary organisations are able to open on-site at Alert Level 2. But students should check their organisations’ opening plans. Most are organising a phased return to on-site learning, while maintaining distance learning options.

People no longer need to stick to their bubbles at Alert Level 2 and can meet with friends and family. But people need to play it safe and continue to take sensible health and safety precautions.

All children and young people can attend early learning services, schools and kura on-site, including students in years 11 to 13. This includes students of Residential Special Schools, Day Special Schools and satellite units. The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick, have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting the result of a test.

Playground and  sports equipment use, as well as sports, including contact sports, can resume at Level 2 under certain conditions. School transport services have returned to normal schedules. The ongoing safety of drivers and students and the ability to contact trace remainpriorities.

Playcentres and playgroups are meeting  at Alert Level 2, with appropriate public health measures in place. School hostels return to full occupation at Level 2, and OSCAR, along with other before and after school programmes, can resume. The Food in Schools programme is  fully operational (with extra health provisions).

Distance learning is available for the small number of children who need to remain at home at Alert Level 2. Ministry staff will continue to support children with learning support needs where they are required to remain at home. Students and parents with any queries about distance learning for these students should contact their school or kura.

Distance learning

Strong public health control measures are in place in all schools, including learners and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and safe hygiene requirements. If a school or early learning service has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, they must close for 72 hours to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days. Physical distancing remains important in schools where possible.

Ministry regional staff will be supporting individual schools and services to develop and implement their Alert Level 2 plans and provide information to parents, caregivers and whānau.

Distance learning

June Roll Return for Years 9 and above only

This year the June roll count date is 2 June, with returns due no later than 9 June.
This roll return is for state and state-integrated schools with students in year 9 and above only. Please refer to the 2020 School Roll Return Guidelines for more information on completing your return. 
There is no change to the process of generating your roll return. Please send the Ministry of Education file from your student management system. Schools not using an SMS should complete the excel template provided on the Education Counts website.
Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (STP)

  • Students enrolled in Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (STP), more commonly known as Trades Academies, should continue to be reported against the relevant STP code if the student remains enrolled in the course. This includes students where the tertiary/trades component has yet to recommence as normal under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
  • Reported Full-time Equivalent (FTE) rates should align with the rates agreed with the STP Lead Provider. Any FTE changes must be agreed with the STP Lead Provider prior to your roll return submission.

Distance Learning / Overseas students

  • Students that are still studying from home can be included in the roll return as per normal. Please remember to mark these students with attendance code ‘F’.
  • Students who are temporarily overseas that have domestic eligibility and you have a statement of intention to return, can be included on your roll return.

This return is used for funding purposes. Please submit completed returns no later than 9 June 2020. 

NZ COVID Tracer App

As noted yesterday, the new Government contact tracing App does not yet replace your requirement to maintain a contact register. We have also been advised that a bulk upload of data to MBIE for schools and early learning services is not possible in the short term (as it would take some weeks to undertake a system change to allow this).
However, we are continuing to work with MBIE to see if there is any alternative for you to the manual process currently in place for all businesses and organisations. We will update you when we know more, including any future releases that could reduce the numbers of people required to be captured in your visitor register.

Things to consider when choosing a contact tracing app

We know that to stop the spread of COVID-19 we need to trace the contacts of anyone who has been exposed. As a part of your response to COVID Alert Level 2, you are required to keep a register of individuals that visit your school. 
There are a number of contact tracing apps available for use to meet the contact tracing requirements under Level 2. These apps use different functionality (Bluetooth, GPS, or Quick Response [QR] codes) that present different privacy and security risks.  These apps differ from the NZ COVID Tracer app (which is currently intended for use by individuals as a digital diary) in that they may support you to maintain a visitor register.
We’ve had some queries about the use of such apps, so provide the following for your consideration. Further updates will be provided as the situation evolves.
There are some key things you need to consider if you are choosing a contact tracing app for your school:

  • Is the app from a reputable source? Does the app creator/vendor have privacy and security policies in place, and is it clear that the information collected will only be made available to the appropriate authorities i.e. not on-sold or used for marketing purposes?
  • Does the app protect the privacy of the individuals who will be using it?  Does it collect only the information required for contact tracing purposes (name, contact details, date and time they were on the premises)?
  • Does the app securely protect the information the individuals provide?  Is the information collected stored securely either on the individual’s phone, or if transmitting data to another location is it clear how the data is protected while in transit and when stored?
  • Can everyone use the contact tracing app? Some individuals may not have access to a smartphone required to use the app, or simply choose not to use the app. You may need to have an alternative method to collect the contact tracing details.

If you decide to choose a contact tracing app, you will need to ensure that you clearly advise people entering the schools premises about:

  • What contact tracing app you are using, and whether their information will be held in their phones or provided to a third party.
  • What information you are collecting, and why, how you will be using their information, and how long the information will be held for.
  • That the use of the contact tracing app is voluntary.

Remember that information collected by a contact tracing app can only be used for contact tracing purposes.

More information about Alert Level 2

School bulletin:

School Bulletin COVID-19 update – 2 June

Read previous versions of the Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders | He Pitopito Kōrero

More information:

MOE property checklist for schools 

COVID-19 Alert Levels summary table[PDF, 1.5 MB]

Detailed COVID-19 Alert Levels table[PDF, 1.7 MB]

COVID-19 – Ministry of Health 

Unite against COVID-19 - 

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