A Note from the Principal

Mon, August 12, 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians

I hope that you and your family were able to enjoy some time together over the recent mid-year break.

You may be aware that the Western Australian Government introduced, from 22 July 2019,  ‘No Jab No Play’ immunisation requirements. Under the legislation Western Australian schools are not permitted to enrol a child in Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten if the child’s immunisation status is not up to date, unless one of the stated exemptions applies. (The legislation also applies to child/day care centres and community kindergartens). This new legislation applies to new enrolments from 22 July 2019 and enrolments being processed for the 2020 school year.

Background material relating to the Government’s legislation of these changes may be found via the following links:

Updates to the Public Health Act 2016 and School Education Act 1999 state that to enrol a child in Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten programs, parents/carers must provide to the School:

  • an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Immunisation History Statement, no more than two months old, with a status of ‘Up to Date’; or
  • an AIR Immunisation History Form, no more than six months old, if the child is on a catch up schedule; or
  • a valid immunisation certificate issued or declared by the Chief Health Officer (Department of Health).

Where a child’s status is ‘Not up to Date’ and no other acceptable documentation is provided, parents/carers can apply through me, as Principal, for an exemption because of particular family circumstances. Details of what constitutes a valid exemption may be found through the links noted above. If a child is not exempt or up to date, the child cannot be enrolled in Kindergarten (pre-compulsory education) at St Mark’s, or anywhere in WA.

As part of the program to improve the safety of children at school from vaccine preventable diseases, the Chief Health Officer may, at any time, direct me, as Principal, to:

  • report an enrolled child who has, or is reasonably believed to have, contracted a vaccine preventable notifiable infectious disease.
  • not permit a child to attend or participate in an educational program of the child care service, community kindergarten or school, if the child has not been immunised against, a vaccine preventable notifiable infectious disease.
  • close whole or part of the School to limit or prevent the spread of a vaccine preventable notifiable infectious disease.

I encourage you to become familiar with this new legislation and the requirements that come with it as a parent of a child of any age at St Mark’s.

On a different note, the opinions of our community members are important to us and help us to identify aspects of our practice that are working well and any which may need strengthening. In the coming week or so, we will issue an invitation to  parents, students and staff of St Mark’s to provide feedback through completion of a strictly private and confidential survey. Your participation will be appreciated.

Steven Davies