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Clarification on Government guidance for extra-curricular sport during lockdown

Clarification on Government guidance for extra-curricular sport during lockdown

Categories: Sport Industry News

The Youth Sport Trust, Sport and Recreation Alliance, ukactive and Association for Physical Education have come together to help clarify what extra-curricular sport is permitted under government’s new lockdown guidance.

The most recent guidance from the Department for Education, published on 6th November, advised that:

'Schools can and should continue offering sports clubs or activities before or after school, in addition to their regular PE lessons, in order to support parents to work, seek work, or to undertake education or training, and for the purposes of respite care for vulnerable children.'

It also said that:

'All out of school activities which are not being primarily used by parents for these purposes should close for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions.'

The Youth Sport Trust, Sport and Recreation Alliance, ukactive and Association for Physical Education have together sought clarity from government on how schools should interpret this guidance.

Following consultation with government departments, we can advise that:

  • Schools should continue to provide extra-curricular sport as long as they can do so in a way which i) maintains the integrity of schools’ Covid-19 protocols such as approach to bubbles, staffing and social distancing and ii) is subject to appropriate risk assessment.
  • Where the guidance refers to supporting parents to work, there is no additional need for schools to prove that extra-curricular clubs are helping parents to work or seek work.
  • Extra-curricular clubs should not take place if they are bringing together groups of young people who would not otherwise be spending time together. Competition between different schools should not take place, in line with the wider restrictions on grassroots sport.

This interpretation of the full guidance has been approved by the Department for Education and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

afPE is happy to work alongside partners in supporting a joint statement on the Government Guidance – ‘Education and childcare settings: New National Restrictions from 5th November’, regarding extra-curricular activity during the lockdown period. This has provided an opportunity to clarify the position for members and others involved in working in school settings. If you are continuing with extra-circular activity during this lockdown period please consider the provisos in the guidance when planning your offer and ensure that appropriate risk assessments are in place.

Sue Wilkinson MBE, afPE’s CEO said:

“The last few days have been extremely challenging and I would like to thank the afPE Health and Safety Team and the staff for their commitment, professionalism and continued hard work in ensuring that members, schools, the workforce and children and young peoples’ (C&YP)  interests are at the forefront of everything that we do.”

“A great deal of resources have been invested in interpreting guidance for schools so that they feel protected in any decision that they take in providing PE, school sport and physical activity in such challenging times. We have been inundated with questions which reflect the vast array of contexts in which colleagues are working. We are pleased that across the sector organisations recognise the different demands placed on schools and that we have acted to secure a collective position to try to support schools regarding extra curricular provision.”

“Thank you to all of you, who have been extremely patient and have asked professional questions regarding challenges that you have faced in order to secure the best position for your schools, staff and C&YP. It is important to ensure that there is appropriate and equal access for all C&YP and that schools have the resources during Covid-19, to keep everyone safe and well; whilst providing much needed extra curricular activities within the Government guidelines. Last but not least, a huge thank you to all of you, for your creativity and innovative solutions to support your pupils stay active.”

We will continue to update our Active at Home Children & Young People webpages with the latest guidance, support and initiatives around Sussex to keep young people active during this challenging time.