We support the immunisation of children, before they enter Preschool and Kindergarten in NSW Public Schools, to protect them against outbreaks of infectious diseases.
This page includes information about:
Preschools are not able to enrol a child unless the parent/cargiver has provided documentation that shows that the child:
- is fully vaccinated for their age, or
- has a medical reason not to be vaccinated, or
- has a parent/caregiver who has a conscientious objection to vaccination, or
- is on a recognised catch-up schedule if their child has fallen behind with their vaccinations.
This is a requirement of the Public Health Act 2010.
Only specified Australian Government forms can be accepted by preschools at enrolment. The Immunisation Enrolment Toolkit (PDF 3.45MB) includes detailed advice that will assist preschools with their legal responsibilities and immunisation record management.
When enrolling a child, parents/caregivers will be asked to provide an Immunisation History Statement. Parents can request an Immunisation History Statement by contacting the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809.
Primary schools record the immunisation status of students on enrolment. They keep the statement (or photocopy of the original statement) for three years after the student has left the primary school. If a student changes primary schools the Immunisation History Statement (or a copy) is forwarded to the new primary school. Primary schools are not required to transfer history statements to high schools as high schools are not required to keep immunisation records.
A child without an Immunisation History Statement will not be prevented from enrolling in primary school. Under the NSW Public Health Act 2010, however, children without proof of immunisation may be asked by Public Health Officials to stay at home during an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease.
Further information about the requirements for primary schools is available here.
High schools cooperate with NSW Health to implement NSW School-based Immunisation Program. The assistance of principals and school staff with this important public health initiative is acknowledged and welcomed.
Information on the NSW School-based Immunisation Program can be accessed from the NSW Health website. This includes information on the schedule of vaccines currently being offered to high school students.
Parents of children enrolled in distance education can access free vaccine from their doctor, Aboriginal Medical Service or community health centre. For more information click here.
In addition, NSW Health visits Intensive English Centres (IECs) to offer a range of vaccines as appropriate.
Parent Information Kit
Principals are contacted by their Public Health Unit to discuss arrangements for the clinics. Parent Information Kits are forwarded to the school for distribution to parents via their child prior to the first clinic (usually held in February/March). The kit contains a consent form, Q&A sheet and information on the privacy issues regarding collection of personal health details.
Only students who have the consent form signed by their parent/legal guardian, will be vaccinated. It is important that principals closely monitor the receipt of signed consent forms.
Despite a signed consent form being provided, a parent/legal guardian is entitled to revoke or withdraw their consent at any time prior to the vaccination taking place.
The kits have been translated into 23 community languages and available on the NSW Health website. However, only the English-lanuage consent form contained in the Parent Information Kit is accepted for vaccination in the NSW Adolescent School-based Immunisation Program.
Enquiries about the vaccination program can be directed to the local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.
Principals must contact the local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 to notify any of the following vaccine preventable diseases:
- Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib)
- Meningoccocal disease
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Rubella (German measles)
Notifying cases of these vaccine preventable diseases to the Public Health Unit by the school principal is a requirement of the NSW Public Health Act 2010.
In the event of specified vaccine preventable disease outbreaks in a school the public health officer can exclude unvaccinated children to protect them from infection and prevent them from passing infection to others. Particular arrangements will be worked out by the local Public Health Unit in consultation with the school.
The Public Health Unit may need to review the school's vaccination records to determine which children are at risk from the outbreak.
Principals are also encouraged to seek advice from their local Public Health Unit when they suspect an infectious disease outbreak is affecting their school.
Principals are referred to Infection Control Guidelines (Intranet only) for further information about contacting public health units and on communicating with the school community about infectious diseases.