Teachers and parents are still in the dark as to what measures will be put in place to keep schools safe from COVID-19 when the new term begins.
It was anticipated that after weeks of discussion leaders would announce a co-ordinated approach following the national cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said states and territories would make their own decisions about how best to return to face-to-face schooling.
There was little information about what that might look like for NSW.
NSW Teachers Federation deputy president Henry Rajendra said it was little help for teachers, with the beginning of term little more than a week away.
"The prolonged uncertainty provides no comfort for teachers and principals," he said.
"Especially when they are considering all the factors that need to be addressed in preparation for the return to school."
Following the national cabinet it was announced the Commonwealth government will support states and territories that want to implement surveillance testing for schools on a 50-50 cost sharing basis.
But Mr Morrison stressed the health advice didn't recommend such a regime.
"While it is not the medical advice for (surveillance testing) to be undertaken, states and territories may be choosing to do that based on the education advice they are receiving to ensure schools can open and stay open," he told reporters in Canberra yesterday.
"Where they believe that is necessary, the Commonwealth government will be supporting that."
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Mr Morrison said the Commonwealth would support the states despite it not being federal health advice because keeping schools open was a top priority.
"States and territories will make decisions to keep schools open," he said.
"We need the schools open, we need them to stay open."
"That is why we have agreed to be supportive and facilitative of that decision, where they choose to make it."
The definition of a close contact - at least four hours of contact with a COVID-positive household member - won't be extended to cover contact within schools grounds or buildings.
"If you are sick you should not be coming to school," Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said.
But Professor Kelly acknowledged that while the illness in children was mild, there was a risk a student would become infected and bring the virus home.
"To keep them at school as much as possible, there are trade-offs today in terms of transmission," he said.
"We want kids back at school and want them back on day one."
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