I have a quote on my desk (which I look at regularly) that says, "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor."
You will be aware of the SA Government’s announcement earlier in the week of the Emergency Management (Education and Early Childhood Settings Vaccination) (COVID-19) Direction 2021.
Under this Direction, COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for all people who work at an education and early childhood setting, including King’s. This does not apply to those with a medical exemption endorsed by the Chief Public Health Officer.
Across the State, these people include:
- All employees and contractors
- Anyone who visits a site for work purposes
- All Governing Council members and employees
- All volunteers/parent helpers (people who assist with reading, camps, excursions, canteen, fundraising etc.)
- OSHC (including Vacation Care) providers/employees
- Contracted bus drivers and transport providers
Under this Direction, we are advised that these workers/volunteers must receive at least one dose of a Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccination by 10 December 2021 and have a booking to receive a second dose.
It appears clear that if a person covered by this Direction does not have an exemption endorsed by the Chief Public Health Officer (or can’t provide evidence they are in the process of getting one) or have not had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by 10 December 2021, they will not be able to work or perform their duties.
I understand that this announcement may have caused some distress. This is particularly so for those who are not yet vaccinated or who do not intend to receive a vaccination. Equally, there are those who are concerned about returning to work alongside students and colleagues who are not vaccinated.
In all of this, the School is seeking to ensure that we retain our unity in Christ and that this does not become a divisive issue. Our employment contracts bind the School and our staff to follow all applicable legislation. Whilst the School is obliged to meet its lawful obligations (and therefore will be required to enforce this Direction), it is my intention to do so in a manner that is graceful, compassionate and considerate.
As a Christian community, I ask that we continue to pray for all staff, parents and students as we navigate these difficult waters.