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The COVID risks to children is low.

NSW recruits emergency teachers as schools safeguard RATs

As the wait for NSW’s back-to-school plan continues ahead of next week’s reopening, teachers and principals worry they are not being given enough time to prepare.

  • by Jordan Baker and Tom Rabe


Students from Prairiewood High School defied the harsh lockdown to excel in this year’s HSC.

‘The more you push us down, the better we’ll spring back up’: The school that leapt 100 HSC places

For the HSC Class of 2021 at Prairiewood High, a rough year has had a happy ending.

  • by Jordan Baker and Nigel Gladstone
Abigail Carungay from James Ruse Agricultural High School.

‘I was screaming for quite a bit’: ATARs deliver a high for students after the lows of 2021

James Ruse’s Abigail Carungay got out of bed at 5.45am not for her HSC marks, but for the camaraderie. “I wanted to experience the collective waiting,” she said.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos, Billie Eder and Amelia McGuire
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said national cabinet shares the view that schools should remain open this year.

Cost of rapid tests to be split amid expected case rise when schools open

The cost of surveillance testing of Victorian schoolchildren will be split between the Morrison and Andrews governments when students return to school.

  • by Lisa Visentin and Adam Carey
Ethan and his mum opened his HSC results this morning.

ATAR, HSC 2021 results as they happened: NSW Year 12 students receive ATARs after disrupted school year

Students have begun receiving their HSC results and band six results will be released here at noon. Follow the news as we celebrate the Class of 2021.

  • by Pallavi Singhal and Natassia Chrysanthos
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says schools will open for the children of essential workers.

Transmissions will rise once schools go back but experts say it’s the right move

Health experts advising governments predict coronavirus transmissions will rise once schools go back, but say it’s the right thing to do for many other reasons.

  • by Lisa Visentin
Jane said she told police she could provide more than 120 screenshots worth of harassment, but it wasn’t enough to warrant a protection order.

Intense focus on HSC results and ATAR must end

The ATAR is a good and robust measure of scholastic achievement, but a narrow obsession with an academic ranking does not serve our 21st century needs.

  • by Verity Firth
Lucy Saywell, from Hunter Valley Grammar School, first in English Extension 2, HSC 2021.

Lucy topped extension English in the HSC. This is what she wrote

Lucy Saywell’s major work is a poem about climate change.

  • by Lucy Saywell
Ethan and his mum opened his HSC results this morning.

Inspired by his mother’s illness, HSC star Ethan turns his mind to medicine

Ethan Jones from St John XXIII Catholic College and North Sydney Boys’ captain Thinesshan Thevathasan had a year marred by lockdowns, lost experiences and interruptions. Both are now headed for a career in medicine.

  • by Amelia McGuire, Natassia Chrysanthos and Pallavi Singhal
Top schools in the 2021 HSC

Not even the long winter of lockdown could stop James Ruse topping the HSC

James Ruse Agricultural High has topped the HSC for the 26th time and, this time, with even greater success. North Sydney Boys has returned to second position.

  • by Jordan Baker and Nigel Gladstone
HSC 2021

The 2021 HSC student honour roll

Find every student who achieved a band 6 or E4 in the 2021 HSC.

HSC 2021

See where your school ranked in the 2021 HSC

We’ve analysed the data and the top schools for the 2021 HSC have been revealed.

I’ll check to make sure my child’s pencil case isn’t a health hazard.

I don’t buy into back-to-school shopping sprees

If you buy a new ruler every year, what are you meant to do with the other 12?

  • by Vivienne Pearson
Ethan Jones from St John XXIII Catholic College in Stanhope Gardens opens his HSC on Thursday morning.

Sydney teen receives his HSC result

Ethan Jones from St John XXIII Catholic College in Stanhope Gardens opens his HSC on Thursday morning.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

NSW prepares for teacher COVID shortages ahead of schools return

NSW is bracing for the immediate impact of Omicron on the state’s classrooms with fears of staff shortages prompting the government to try to entice part-time teachers to take on full-time work in schools.

  • by Tom Rabe
Cian Buo-Jren Bowes from Sydney Grammar and Michelle Ung from  Prairiewood High at the first in course awards

From Beverly Hills to Baulkham Hills, the state’s top HSC students in every course revealed

Sixty students who weathered the state’s harshest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have topped HSC courses, while Sydney Grammar snared nine first places.

  • by Jordan Baker, Nigel Gladstone and Natassia Chrysanthos
Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on  Wednesday 19 January 2022. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Visa refund to lure back thousands of international students and backpackers

International students and backpackers will have their visa fees refunded for the coming weeks in a bid to entice them back to the country to fill critical worker shortages.

  • by Lisa Visentin and Mike Foley
Valent Lai and Caroline are concerned about sending their kids Nathan (10) and Nicholas (5) back to school with Omicron cases increasing.

Twice weekly tests for all students part of back-to-school plans

Amid predictions of staff shortages of up to 20 per cent of private school principals have been told they can ask parents to volunteer to supervise students.

  • by Jordan Baker, Natassia Chrysanthos and Adam Carey
A list of HSC top achievers was accidentally released early

HSC top achievers list accidentally published early

The NSW Education Standards Authority accidentally published a list of top HSC achievers three days early.

  • by Jordan Baker
The Class of 2021 is the most remarkable their teachers have seen

‘They are the most remarkable young people we’ve had go through the school’

The class of 2021 will get their HSC results on Thursday, but their certificate will not recognise the hardship they overcame to get it.

  • by Jordan Baker
Private schools accepted JobKeeper money.

NSW private schools reaped $72 million in JobKeeper payments

New data contained in private schools’ annual reports reveals the majority of that funding was received by just 10 schools, while all 33 schools that received the wage subsidy also posted a surplus in 2020.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.

Unexpected nasties in the recycling bin

Can you get in a sneaky swim without going near the water?

Terry Moriarty is a retired head maths teacher from public schools in Sydney. If it wasn’t for fear of COVID, he would go back to teach in schools if they had a desperate need. “At the moment it seems too risky to me,” he said.

Plan to bring back retired teachers to combat COVID crisis ‘too dangerous’

A proposal by the NSW government to recruit an army of retired teachers and others to address staff shortages when school returns has been attacked, with a few exceptions. 

  • by Julie Power and Pallavi Singhal
Con Theocharous

These students topped the HSC. Where are they now?

Con Theocharous remembers his father walked into Sydney Grammar School in the late 1970s and asked if he could have a scholarship. Then he finished in the top 1 per cent of the HSC.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos and Monica Attia
The government is planning to bring retired teachers and principals back into the classroom in a bid to keep schools open amid a rising COVID-19 infection rate.

‘Not a good idea’: plan to bring back retired teachers amid Omicron wave fails public health test

A plan to ask recently retired teachers and principals to come back to work to fill in for infected staff would put some of the most at-risk individuals at the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis, according to a leading epidemiologist.

  • by Pallavi Singhal and Tom Rabe
HSC results have been brought forward by four days.

HSC results brought forward to same day as ATARs

Higher School Certificate marks for the 2021 exams will be released four days earlier than planned, on January 20, after the NSW Education Standards Authority completed its marking ahead of schedule.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Young teenagers will also be able to consent to a COVID-19 jab without a parent or guardian’s permission at state hubs, with NSW easing guidelines as vaccine uptake among children aged 12 to 15 stalls.

States vow no delay in return to school

With term one less than three weeks away, young teenagers will also be able to consent to a COVID-19 jab without a parent or guardian’s permission at state hubs, with NSW easing guidelines as vaccine uptake among children aged 12 to 15 stalls.

  • by Tom Rabe, Lucy Carroll and Natassia Chrysanthos
Children’s mental health will be better served by being at school.

For the sake of the ‘forgotten voices’ of the pandemic, reopen Australia’s schools

Thirty-five of Australia’s top academics, doctors and community leaders and have written an open letter to Australian governments, calling on them to reaffirm their commitment to open schools.

The nation’s attention has turned to schools and early child education and care.

Australia needs a national plan for children, schools and COVID-19

For two years, Australia’s children, young people and their families have tolerated school closures to protect the adult and elderly population from COVID-19. Now it’s time for the kids.

  • by Asha Bowen and Sharon Goldfeld
A group of 63 Australian Research Council Laureates have written to acting Education Minister Stuart Robert with their fears research funding in Australia is becoming “political and short sighted”

Eminent researchers condemn government’s ‘political and short-sighted’ funding

Backlash has mounted over Minister Stuart Robert’s decision to veto Australian Research Council grants to six humanities projects that had been recommended for funding by an independent panel.

  • by Natassia Chrysanthos
Megan Anderson and son Aiden.

‘Incandescent with rage’: Parents fume over cancelled vax appointments

The NSW government will rely on rapid antigen testing to keep schools open as it pushes ahead to ensure students start school on the first day of term. Here’s how it will work.

  • by Anna Patty, Jordan Baker and Laura Chung
Facebook ads

Call for crackdown on commercial cheating services for students

The peak body representing independent higher education providers is urging the federal government to extend legislation introduced in 2020, which outlaws the provision or advertising of academic cheating services at universities to the VET sector.

  • by Anna Patty
While masks will no longer be required in Victorian offices, students in years 3 to 6 must stil wear them (along with primary school, healthcare, transport and indoor retail staff).

Governments can’t wing return to school plan

State and federal governments need to outline now what the start of the school year will look like.

  • The Herald's View
remote learning

Teachers braced for remote learning amid flood of Omicron cases

No primary school student will be fully dosed when pupils return to school as bookings for five- to 11-year-olds open on Monday and there is an eight-week gap between jabs.

  • by Michael Fowler and Nigel Gladstone
A study of student progress tracked by NAPLAN found no difference between sectors

NAPLAN analysis shows no difference between public, private schools

Researchers followed students’ progress in NAPLAN and found there was no difference between the three school sectors.

  • by Jordan Baker
The argument to close schools to prevent community transmission and protect adults is not sustainable.

It’s time for children’s lives to return to normal - schools must stay open

The daily case counts are confronting but closing schools in light of them is unjustified. We don’t do it for other common viruses and we should no longer do it for COVID-19.

  • by Philip Britton and Phoebe Williams
Vera Basseal hopes school will return as normal, saying the children need face-to-face learning

‘It will be bumpy’: How to keep schools open in the age of Omicron

Paediatricians say it’s vital for children to head back to classrooms, but it may be a challenging start to the school year with Omicron tearing through the community.

  • by Jordan Baker
Eddie Woo with teacher, Kuldip Khehra at Quakers Hill High School with students, Liam Sammons, Anirav Punj, and Chelsea Ayscough.

‘Tackling a really big problem’: Eddie Woo is man on a mathematics mission

Eddie Woo leads a team of expert maths teachers who visit schools around the state to help improve the way maths is taught

  • by Jordan Baker
Masks are likely to remain a fixture of schooling in term one

Premier ‘incredibly confident’ kids will be in class on first day of term

Premier Dominic Perrottet said rapid antigen tests and masks will play an important role in keeping schools safe during first term

  • by Jordan Baker and Mary Ward
Hundreds of NSW childcare centres are shut due to COVID-19

Hundreds of NSW childcare centres shut due to COVID

The early childhood sector is facing hundreds of closures and bracing for more as an already stretched workforce is hit with COVID-19.

  • by Jordan Baker
Hospital admissions for children during Sydney’s Delta wave were extremely rare, preliminary research suggests.

Vaccine, asymptomatic cases to boost kids’ immunity ahead of school return

Infectious diseases experts say evidence continues to point to COVID-19 being a mild infection for the vast majority of young children.

  • by Mary Ward
The 17-storey Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta opened in 2019

Revealed: The Sydney schools running out of space

Wentworth Point Public School was only built four years ago, but already it has more students than space and needs an upgrade.

  • by Jordan Baker and Nigel Gladstone
MLC students celebrate their outstanding IB results.

Sydney school breaks IB record with top marks for 10 students

Despite a stressful year and months spent worrying whether their exams would go ahead, NSW students shone in the 2021 International Baccalaureate.

  • by Jordan Baker
Wellbeing nurse, Jenille Mina at Merrylands Public School with students in the WHIN program.

Mental health support from on-site school nurse a ‘game-changer’

Students at 200 public schools will have access to an on-site mental health and wellbeing nurse after a successful pilot program across NSW.

  • by Lucy Cormack
The study suggests that the messaging around errors can impact the student’s performance going ahead.

Brain study shows children bounce back better from encouraging feedback

The study of brain waves suggests the way children’s errors are presented to them could impact learning and performance going ahead.

  • by Jordan Baker
Ian Chubb is agitating on behalf of the Australian Academy of Science for a national oversight body on research integrity.

Suspected fraud cases prompt calls for research integrity watchdog

Universities have struggled to prosecute allegations of research misconduct, and scientists are calling for an independent body to oversee investigations.

  • by Harriet Alexander
Sydney Church of England Grammar School on Sydney’s north shore

The ‘war for the soul’ of one of Sydney’s top private schools

The community at Shore, whose founders wanted it to be a school “of the highest type”, is unified by tradition and history but divided over its future.

  • by Jordan Baker
Christian Schools Australia and the Australian Christian Higher Education Alliance say the right of schools to hire staff in line with their ethos could see teachers disciplined if they became divorced or entered into a same-sex marriage.

Christian schools defend right to discipline divorced or gay staff

Two Christian education groups say the ability to discipline a teacher who gets divorced is an example of a school’s right to hire staff according to its values.

  • by Lisa Visentin
Christian Super has been given a deadline to merge due to chronic under-performance.

Catholic schools ‘open’ to fast-tracking protections for gay students

The head of the National Catholic Education Commission says she is open to pursing a quicker process for addressing concerns about further protections for LGBTQI+ students, rather than waiting for a year-long government review.

  • by Lisa Visentin
Police officers comfort each other at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport on Thursday.

We must grieve for five little lives lost

One cannot think of a worse way to finish this terrible year than the deaths of five children, one week before Christmas, in a place where they were meant to be safe.

  • by The Herald's View