Principals are banking on unvaccinated teachers to relieve crippling staff shortages.
Teachers will be allowed to return to all mainstream schools, but the mandate remains in force in specialist and non-government schools.
Berwick Lodge Primary Principal Henry Grossek welcomed the change.
“We are down on staff by about 30 per cent every single day,” he said.
The change will also ease the pressures on substitute teachers across the city and the regions.
Bendigo’s Catherine McAuley College had to cancel class for years 7 and 11 today.
Tomorrow the whole school will shut.
“With the change of the regulations around vaccination, hopefully that will mitigate some of those shortages that we’ve experienced,” the college’s Principal Brian Turner said.
At the time, The Department of Education and Training said 99.2 per cent of staff had had three doses.
Parents will not be informed of teachers’ vaccination status and no one at the school will have access to that information.
“Principals do not hold information about the vaccination status of staff or students.”
It comes after 351 education staff were fired in April for not getting the jab and a further 280 staff were stood down for failing to get a third jab.
The latter can now return to their roles, while those who were let go can search for a new job.
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The essential worker vaccine mandate will be eased for a number of industries – with the exception of healthcare workers who work with the vulnerable.
“To continue to protect the most vulnerable through winter, workers who interact with a vulnerable person will still require three COVID-19 vaccine doses,” a statement from the Victorian Government said.
“This includes residential aged care and disability care, healthcare, and custodial and emergency services, including police.”