Enrolment, attendance, and the school system
Do I have to be vaccinated to go to school?
No. Students who haven’t been immunised (vaccinated) cannot be prevented from enrolling at school.
However, the Ministry of Health recommends that all children complete their immunisations on time, particularly before starting school. Diseases can spread very quickly in classrooms. Immunisation also protects other learners and members of the community who are immunocompromised (this means that their body is unable to respond normally to an infection due to a weakened immune system).
Primary school Immunisation Register
All primary schools have to keep an immunisation register of all students, showing which diseases they’ve been immunised against and if they are fully immunised.
Before or just after enrolling at primary school, your parents or guardians must give the school your immunisation certificate.
The school has to make a note if your immunisation certificate is not provided. The register must be kept confidential.
The local Medical Officer of Health can look at the register to see what vaccinations you’ve had if you get an infectious disease (without parent or guardian consent). They can then contact them to offer you immunisation.
What happens if I get a vaccine-preventable disease like chickenpox?
The principal can send students home to stop the spread of disease. See “Being sent home on health grounds”
Students who have a particular infectious disease (like chickenpox, meningitis and mumps) must stay home from school to get well.
Unimmunised students who have been in contact with particular infectious diseases (like measles, diphtheria and whooping cough) must also be sent home for a specified period.
For more information, contact the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) or Healthline on 0800 611 116
COVID-19 Vaccinations and going to school
Do I have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to go to school?
No. You are not required to be vaccinated to attend school. Your parents and whānau also can’t be stopped from going to your school if they aren’t vaccinated. This includes:
- school hostels
- school transport
- out of school care and recreation programmes.
For more information, go to www.covid.govt.nz and search “education”
Do school staff have to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Yes. As of January 2022, all staff and support people (including volunteers) who have contact with students must be fully vaccinated.
Do I have to be vaccinated to play sport after school?
No. You don’t have to be vaccinated to go to extra-curricular activities (like sport or kapa haka) after school.