NSW Premier gives green light for school formals and graduations

After being dealt a year of blows, the senior class of 2020 will have their school formals to look forward to after Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the confirmation last week.

The Premier said students would be allowed to celebrate the end of their schooling after initial health advice suggested these events would be cancelled.

"Every school community across the state will be able to have a formal," she said. "It may not be the same exactly as what's happened in previous years, but you will be able to have those key milestone events, and you will have something to look forward to after the HSC."

Guidelines for school formals and graduation ceremonies have been provided to school principals to assist with managing the one off events in a COVID safe way.

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said she was thrilled students would be able to enjoy the end year celebrations. "Our students have done a fantastic job this year staying focused and working towards their final exams," Ms Mitchell said."I urge people to follow the directions of their schools and venues and respect public health orders, particularly when planning after events."

Formals and graduations can take place from November 12, the day after the last HSC written exam. Ms Mitchell said it was important to reduce disruption to the final exams and it was great students could still celebrate once the exams had concluded.

"With less than six weeks to the start of the HSC exams, students can focus on their final studies knowing that there will be official opportunities to celebrate their schooling," Ms Mitchell said.

2019: 2020 School formals and graduation ceremonies have been given the green tick by the NSW Premier after months of unknowing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Pictured: SCC formal 2019.

2019: 2020 School formals and graduation ceremonies have been given the green tick by the NSW Premier after months of unknowing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Pictured: SCC formal 2019.

"Students should restrict the number of guests they bring to graduation events, and schools are encouraged to live-stream these ceremonies for anyone not able to attend."

The guidelines suggest mingling before and after events should be avoided, private transport options considered and existing restrictions on catering need to be adhered to.

Saint Catherine's College Principal Ms Niamh Marzol said the lift of the ban is fantastic news for the class of 2020.

"The news is very promising and we hope that the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) will announce the lift on the ban in the next few weeks," she said.

"The announcement of the lift of the ban on formals is very exciting for our senior students set to graduate this year," said Singleton High School Deputy Principal Ms Tracey Holloway.

"The Singleton High School formal and graduation will go ahead in November following the Department of Education and COVID-19 Guidelines."