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Schools in Auckland and Waikato to completely reopen for in-person learning on November 17; AstraZeneca vaccine to become available to limited number of people in late-November

Public Policy / news
Schools in Auckland and Waikato to completely reopen for in-person learning on November 17; AstraZeneca vaccine to become available to limited number of people in late-November
Chris Hipkins, Ashley Bloomfield. Press Gallery pool image.

Auckland and Waikato students in years 1 to 10 can start attending school again in a week’s time, from November 17.

Most students in years 1-8 will be returning part-time. Students in years 9 and 10 will be able to return full time alongside those in years 11-13 already back at school.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said, “As vaccination rates increase, including the requirement for teachers to have at least one Covid-19 vaccination from Monday, the risk to children and students is lowered…

“Measures to help minimise the risk of COVID-19 will include mask wearing from year 4 up in most cases, ventilating classrooms, limiting the number of students on site, and making sure groups of children distance from each other.

“Each school and kura will decide what works best for their learners and their community. That might be by alternating days or half weeks – through year levels, or through whānau groupings. Full-time learning will continue on-site for students whose parents have needed it, for example to go to work…

“The health advice also tells us that in other countries, out-of-school activities create a greater risk of transmission than what happens at places of learning. It is clear that the risk of reopening schools is outweighed by the benefits of kids re-engaging with their learning face-to-face in this context.”

The Government is also easing the timeline for assessments and the national curriculum. Details are at the bottom of the story.

AstraZeneca vaccine to become available for limited number of people

Separately, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the AstraZeneca vaccine will from late-November be available to people over 18 who either can’t get the Pfizer vaccine for health reasons or need to be vaccinated to keep their job, but don’t want to get the Pfizer vaccine. He said the Pfizer vaccine is the best one, from a medical perspective. 

Figures from the Ministry of Health

COVID-19 vaccine update  
Total first and second vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people) 7,100,707: 3,766,847 first doses (89%); 3,333,860 second doses (79%)
Total first and second vaccines administered yesterday 22,178: 5,1874 first doses; 16,304 second doses
Mâori (percentage of eligible people) 759,516: 427,856 first doses (75%); 331,660 second doses (58%)
Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people) 460,388: 249,559 first doses (87%); 210,829 second doses (74%)
Total first and second vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday 5,771: 1,490 first doses; 4,281 second doses
Vaccination rates by DHB (with active cases)
Northland DHB (percentage of eligible people 242,564: 131,094 first doses (81%); 111,470 second doses (69%)
Auckland metro DHBs (percentage of eligible people 2,528,036: 1,322,652 first doses (92%); 1,205,384 second doses (84%)
Waikato DHB (percentage of eligible people 588,537: 314,953 first doses (88%); 273,584 second doses (77%)
Canterbury DHB (percentage of eligible people 832,146: 448,167 first doses (93%); 383,979 second doses (80%)
Cases in hospital 81 inpatients (up from 79 yesterday): North Shore (26); Waitakere (1); Middlemore (22); Auckland (32)
Vaccination status of current hospitalised cases Unvaccinated or not eligible (40 cases / 49%); partially vaccinated<14 days (11 cases / 14%) partially vaccinated >14 days (14 cases / 17 %); fully vaccinated <14 days (3 cases / 4%) fully vaccinated >14 days (7 cases / 9%); unknown (6 cases / 7%)
Average age of current hospitalisations 53
Cases in ICU or HDU 11
Seven day rolling average of community cases 154
Number of new community cases 147
Number of new cases identified at the border 2
Location of new community cases Auckland (131), Waikato (14) Northland (2)
Location of community cases (total)* Auckland 4,582 (1,779 of whom have recovered); Waikato 179 (72 of whom have recovered); Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered); Northland 30 (6 of whom have recovered); Nelson/Marlborough 1 (who has recovered); Canterbury 4 (all active)
Number of community cases (total) 4,813 (in current community outbreak)
Confirmed cases (total) 7,561
Historical cases* 191 out of 5,748 cases since 1 January
Cases infectious in the community** 34 of 119 cases reported yesterday have exposure events
Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious** 85 of 119 cases reported yesterday have no exposure events
Cases epidemiologically linked 84 of today’s cases
Cases to be epidemiologically linked 63 of today’s cases
Cases epidemiologically linked (total) 3,828 (in the current cluster) (692 unlinked from the past 14 days)
Number of active contacts being managed (total): 4,570
Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements) 75%
Percentage who have returned at least one result 71%
Locations of interest  
Locations of interest (total) 131 (as at 8am 10 November)
Number of tests (total) 4,343,583
Number of tests total (last 24 hours) 27,957
Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours) 13,423
Tests rolling average (last 7 days) 25,821
Testing centres in Auckland 19
Wastewater detections *** See below
NZ COVID Tracer  
Registered users (total) 3,354,381
Poster scans (total) 491,517,982
Manual diary entries (total) 19,866,403
Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday 2,215,898

Details on education 

Key changes to the NCEA Change Programme

To ensure the NCEA change programme and the sector are aligned, the NCEA planned pilot approach will change. However it is still crucial that, in 2022, the sector can test and refine the new Level 1 subjects.

·       The NZC and TMoA pilots planned for 2022 will be replaced with Level 1 mini-pilots that have fewer schools participating. 

·       NZC Level 1 (full) pilots will take place in 2023, instead of 2022, with full implementation by 2024. Level 2 pilots will take place in 2024 with full implementation by 2025. Level 3 pilots will take place in 2025 with full implementation by 2026.

 TMoA mini-pilots will also take place for Level 2 subjects in 2023, and Level 3 subjects in 2024.

·       Literacy and Numeracy | Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau pilots will continue as planned in 2022. The implementation of the corequisite in 2023 is subject to sector readiness, and we are preparing to make a decision (implement or defer) in mid-2022.

·       The Te Ao Haka programme will not change and pilots will commence in 2022.

Key changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories (ANZH) and Te Takanga o Te Wa (TToTW)

·       The timeline for the public release of the ANZH and TToTW final content will be moved to early 2022. Schools and kura will now be expected to implement the new content from 2023, rather than from 2022 as originally intended.

·       This means that those schools and kura who are well-placed to pick it up and use the content earlier than 2023 will have the option to do so.

·       During 2022 schools and kura will be supported to access resources they need to be ready to teach the new content from 2023.

·       The adjustment to timing means that schools will be able to use the new ANZH content in the context of the refreshed Social Sciences learning area for the NZC.

Key changes to using Te Whāriki

The legal requirements for using Te Whāriki will change

·       Consultation on gazetting the full framework of Te Whāriki was set for 2021, with a view to implementing the full framework as a legal requirement for early childhood education services from 2022.

·       This timing of the consultation will be adjusted to occur in 2022 instead, and the anticipated implementation timeframe will be extended to 2023.

Key changes to The New Zealand Curriculum refresh

These changes will help schools and teachers to manage their workloads and deal with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as provide more time for them to be involved as they get ready to adopt the refreshed curriculum from 2026 onwards.

·       Testing of the vision for young people and the Social Sciences learning area draft content will now take place in term 1, 2022.

·       The refresh of the English and the Mathematics & Statistics learning areas will happen in 2022, supporting the upcoming mathematics and literacy strategies.

·       The update of the Science learning area moves from 2022 to 2023, with the Arts and Technology learning areas also refreshed in 2023.

·       The refreshes of the Learning Languages and Health & Physical Education learning areas move from 2023 to 2024.

·       Changes to other parts of the NZC which underpin it being refreshed as a ‘bicultural and inclusive’ curriculum will all be progressed in 2022, rather than being spread through to the end of 2023. This includes a refreshed Vision for Young People.

·       The phasing of the development of the Record of Learning has been aligned to the refresh of the curriculum, with the first release planned for 2024.

Redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

There is no change to the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as the phasing of learning areas will be aligned to the redesign process around the Te Tamaiti Hei Raukura conceptual framework.

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