12 September 2022
Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have continually reviewed our policies with reference to the various Government mandates, public health advice, and with careful attention to Christian ethics and the wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider community that we serve – especially those who are most vulnerable.
In November 2021, in response to the Ministry of Health’s vaccine mandate for health and disability workers, we – along with many other education providers across Aotearoa – required all students enrolled in practicum-related courses to have a current vaccine pass.
We understand the significant impact that this has had on some students, and have repeatedly and prayerfully revisited this position, consulting with the wider sector, other education providers, and with our own students and stakeholder communities.
While the announcement on 12 September about the lifting of both ‘traffic light’ and mandate restrictions by the Government does not change the underlying ethical realities, it does indicate a shift in the posture by public health officials in how best to balance managing the virus and protecting the vulnerable, amid changing public attitudes.
In light of this, Laidlaw College will be lifting the vaccination requirement for practicum-related courses. This means that from Semester One 2023 students can enrol in these courses regardless of vaccine status. We are pleased that this will allow all affected students to continue with their studies, should they wish.