School's back tomorrow - for some of the country's kids anyway.

Many private schools and early childhood centres are re-opening their doors on Thursday.

The planned early return by some private schools would see a large number students back in class, along with children who were returning to early childhood centres opening early.

The remainder of the country's students would join them next week, including children who attend Best Start, the largest private childcare organisation in New Zealand.


Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Schools and centres are implementing a plethora of safety measures, while some are taking extra steps to be cautious.

Alex Reed, principal of North Shore's Pinehurst School, says when his school opens tomorrow, anybody who enters the premises will also have their temperature checked every day.

He said while they had been busy they had been preparing to re-open for the past couple of weeks.

"We're really happy to be back. We think the Government has made the right call and we've moved to get our students straight back in on Thursday because we're ready as a school and we've got all our precautions in place.

"We're doing temperature checks for example and operating bubbles within the school so we've rearranged our timetable.

"We've done what the ministry has asked us to do but we've also done additional things on top of that just to make sure that we're covering every base we can."

He said they were expecting between 80 to 90 per cent of all of their approximate 1000 students on Thursday with the remainder due back Monday.


He didn't believe the active Covid-19 cases in Waitemata would affect the school.

"We don't think the live cases in Waitemata particularly reference this area. We're confident that it's all under control."

However, Dale Burden, principal at St Peter's, Cambridge, said while they could open tomorrow they had decided to wait until Monday to give staff, students and parents more time to organise themselves, whether that be getting much-needed haircuts, new uniforms or shopping for new school shoes.

"Teachers have been off-site for seven weeks so we wanted tomorrow to get them back into the school for the morning and let them know how the school is going to operate under level 2 ... and also we wanted to give families as well as our staff time to get ready to come back to school."

They also had a range of health and safety measures in place due to Covid-19 which had added complexities given the school's 450-strong boarding school as well as its facilities the public can access including equestrian centre, golf driving range and short course and two swimming pools.

"We've had to develop some systems around that. And boarding where you've got people living on site ... it's a complicated organisation.


"Even in just the day school, that alone has been a lot of work ... we've had good guidance from public health but we will take a conservative and careful approach."

Students had coped well during the lockdown with the online teaching, however, it had been a lot of extra work for staff for which he was appreciative.

"We're looking forward to coming back on Monday but we're certainly approaching it cautiously. "

"We know there will be different levels of anxiety amongst our staff and students so we won't be racing, that's for sure. It will be gradual."

Deborah James, executive director of Independent Schools NZ, said she was unsure how many of their schools would be returning tomorrow but she said it would be those that were ready.

"A number have chosen to open tomorrow but a number are going to wait until next week. It just depends on their preparedness under the health and safety requirements.


"So, those that are confident that they are meeting all the health and safety requirements may have decided to open tomorrow. Those that want a little more time to prepare are waiting until next week."

All schools had been working to put in "robust protocols, processes and systems" to ensure the safety of students, staff and the wider school community, she said.

Meanwhile, the Herald earlier reported that 20 of the approximate 90 private schools around the country claimed more than $11m in wage subsidies while they still charged full fees for students, stating they were all suffering as badly as any exposed Covid-19 business.

Many expected to make at least a 30 per cent loss, the threshold required to make the subsidy.

State schools were not eligible for the subsidy because the Government had guaranteed staff wages.