NSW classrooms are being audited for ventilation and COVID-19 safety requirements ahead of students' early return to school but the teachers' union says it called for the procedure to get underway "months ago".
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the audit should be finished by early next week, while a tender is out for ventilation and air purifiers in those schools that require increased airflow.
Kindergarten, year one and year 12 students will be the first to resume face-to-face learning, on October 18, while other grades will have a staggered return to the classroom over the following two weeks.
All students will be back at school by November 1.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said he asked the government three months ago for urgent risk-mitigation action.
"But they only started it about three weeks ago and it's still not finished," he told AAP.
The government was aware Victoria had already procured 51,000 air quality testing and filtering equipment units, he said.
The decision to expedite the return to the classroom comes after NSW exceeded vaccination double-dosage expectations and should reach 70 per cent full coverage next week.
For families living in 12 local government areas deemed COVID-19 hotspots, homeschooling has been ongoing for nearly four months.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian acknowledged not everyone would agree with the early return to the classroom but said the decision was made in the best interests of the majority of students and parents.
"Managing a return in a school system the size of NSW's is not a small task," she said.
"Keeping the staged approach, but moving it all one week earlier, allows schools to shift their plans forward and still provides time for staff and eligible students to get vaccinated."
Deputy Labor leader and shadow minister for education Prue Car said exhausted parents and teachers had been asking for this for a while.
If the government had acted faster on vaccinating teachers and buying air purifiers then students could have gone back earlier, she said.
Teachers are required to be fully vaccinated by November 8.
Ms Mitchell told reporters surveys with teachers indicated their vaccination status was tracking in line with the rest of the state, while Ms Berejiklian said it was higher.
"I don't have the exact percentage but the last time we checked it was, it was way above the state average," the premier said.
Mr Gavrielatos said it remained to be seen whether vaccinated teachers would be spread evenly across the schools with the first cohort of children.
"If teachers had been prioritised for vaccination then it would have been one less challenge to confront," he said.
"Teachers are deeply offended to yet again be the last to know of these changes. It's not the first time this has happened."
So far 100,000 classrooms have been inspected in 2200 schools across the state, with more than 400,000 windows and 130,000 fans checked.
Australian Associated Press