Plans to test teachers and students twice a week for COVID-19 have been slammed by the deputy president of the Teacher's Federation.
Illawarra man Henry Rajendra said a bi-weekly RAT was not enough to keep kids and staff safe.
"At a minimum you should also be required to return a negative RAT to attend school if you are a close contact of a positive case," he said. "We should do all we can to contribute to the line of defence against the virus in our schools."
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The bi-weekly test is just one regime that has been suggested, after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said rapid antigen tests will play a role in the government's strategy to get kids back to school for term one.
"We see a role of rapid antigen tests ... as we open up schools ... and that's why we procured here in NSW tens of millions of them," Mr Perrottet told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday. He said he would not provide a "running commentary" on how the kits would be used.
About 11 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received a vaccine dose, stoking concerns about school safety as term one looms.
Mr Rajendra said students aged 16-17 were not yet eligible to receive boosters, despite many being fully vaccinated months ago.
"The Federal Government has failed to protect students, staff and their families, particularly given the regrettable decision by the NSW Government to ease restrictions ahead of Christmas," he said.
Meanwhile, independent schools have reportedly been told to ask parents to supervise students amid fears up to 20 per cent of staff could be absent at any one time.
Likely staff shortages are also said to have prompted the government to consider recalling retired teachers, and fast-tracking final year university students to fill staffing gaps.
Mr Rajendra said the teacher shortage crisis and the COVID-19 crisis were both to blame, and the idea of pulling teachers out of retirement was "fanciful".
"It won't address the issues around staffing shortages," he said.
"These are very difficult and challenging times, the commencement of a third year of a global pandemic, when parents and teachers have worked very hard for a very long time to support their children.
"What should have been an opportunity over the holidays for teachers and principals to recharge their batteries has now turned in another direction, to start planning for some very trying circumstances ahead of this year."
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