The roadmap for a return to face to face learning welcomed

Calrossy Anglican School Principal David Smith said it's good to have a road map because people want certainty, which is the most challenging aspect right now.

"Where I'm not so pleased, is the way that the HSC has been pushed back by quite a number of weeks and I've already had a lot of contact from parents and kids about that," he said.

"That's the last thing the kids are saying they need - more time before the HSC.

"It's a bit like the 100 metre race I think, if you're on the start line ready to go and suddenly someone says come back in three weeks’ time it's frustrating for them."

Mr Smith acknowledged health officials and the government are doing "their very best" in what is a "complex issue” but questioned why the exams have been delayed when learning has not stopped.

"It seems to me there's some idea that kids need more teaching in Year 12, but online teaching has been going on and our kids did their trials, half of them online and learning has been going on so just extending the time I don't think is actually giving them what they need," he said.

He said parents and children were well equipped to go online and have made the transition fairly smoothly, but that doesn't mean it's been perfect, or ideal.

"I think families with younger students find it harder because you need to have a parent at home and if you've got two working parents that's a challenge," he said.

"We've sent work from home packs and have been doing as much as we can, and of course like most schools we still have some students on site whose parents are involved in essential services, but the government has been strict with its definition."

HSC exams have been delayed until November 9, with a revised timetable and guidelines for a COVID-safe HSC to be released by NESA in early September.

The NSW government says the delay will not disadvantage students when applying to university.

The government has also taken a staggered approach to returning students to face-to-face learning, which will begin on October 25 with Kindergarten to Year 1.

From November, years 2 to 11 will begin to return, and from 25 October, Year 12 will have full time access to school campuses and their teachers.

Vaccinations for school staff will be mandatory.