Space for Learning

England

Adhering to relevant government advice

There is specific guidance from the government for Performing ArtsHeritage sitesEducation visitsMusic dance and drama activities, Out-of-school settings, and the Visitor Economy which covers museums, galleries and performing arts venues.

A ‘roadmap’ for gradual reopening of different sectors of England’s economy was announced on Monday 22 February, full details are in the Covid Response – Spring 2021 document.

Key dates are schools returning from the 8 March, 29 March for the rule of six outdoors, 12 April for libraries and outdoor attractions to reopen, 17 May museums can reopen and theatres with limited capacity and from the 21 June all restrictions on numbers involved in social contact will be removed.

School advice relevant to cultural learning

Educational visits

The Department for Education state in their guidance for schools and for out-of-school providers from the 8 March:

We advise against all educational visits at this time. This advice will be kept under review.

Music, dance and drama in schools

The DfE Schools coronavirus operational guidance includes the statement:

You should continue teaching music, dance and drama as part of your school curriculum, especially as this builds pupils’ confidence and supports their wellbeing. There may, however, be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments, dance or drama takes place.

DfE guidance is clear though that singing, wind and brass instrument playing and dance and drama can be undertaken:

Singing, wind and brass instrument playing can be undertaken in line with this and other guidance, including guidance provided by the DCMS for professionals and non-professionals, available at working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): performing arts.

The DfE also provide guidance on music, dance and drama in their guidance for Out-of-school settings.

Peripatetic teachers

Department for Education guidance explicitly states schools can continue to engage peripatetic teachers, including staff from music education hubs, and those running before and after school clubs.

Peripatetic teachers can move between schools, for instance, but schools should consider how to minimise the number of visitors where possible and the guidance advises schools:

Such staff and visitors must follow your school’s arrangements for managing and minimising risk based on the system of controls. They should also have access to information on the safety arrangements and be provided with this as soon as possible after the booking.

Peripatetic teachers should:

  1. Maintain distancing requirements with each group they teach, where appropriate.
  2. Avoid situations where distancing requirements are broken; for an example demonstrating partnering work in dancing.
  3. Make efforts to reduce the number of groups taught and locations worked in, to reduce the number of contacts made.

Covid-19 Tests

There will be twice-weekly testing of secondary school and college pupils, initially with on-site testing and then home testing. All households with school children, members of their support and childcare bubbles, and those in related occupations will also be encouraged to get tested regularly.

Face coverings – recommended for a ‘limited time’

Face coverings are recommended in Higher Education, Further Education and secondary schools in all indoor environments unless 2m social distancing can be maintained. Face coverings are now also recommended in early years and primary schools for staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible, for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas.

Guidance for out-of-school-settings

In the School guidance the DfE advise that before and after school clubs should resume:

From 8 March, you should work to resume all your before and after-school educational activities and wraparound childcare for your pupils, where this provision is necessary to support parents to work, attend education and access medical care, and is as part of pupil’s wider education and training.

The DfE has updated their guidance for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children. There is an updated section on who can attend out-of-school provision and specific guidance on music, dance and drama provision.

See below for the dates when outdoor and indoor provision for vulnerable and key worker children, and for all children can resume.

Group sizes

For out-of-school provision groups should either be a continuation of school bubbles, or if this is not possible group sizes should not exceed 15 plus staff. The guidance states:

Multiple groups of 15 children plus staff can use the same shared space if necessary, with distancing between the groups and adequate ventilation. Although, different groups sharing the same space should be avoided where possible.

Youth services

Providers of youth services and activities should also refer to the National Youth Agency’s guidance for managing youth sector spaces and activities during COVID-19 as well as their accompanying tools and resources to support safe service provision.

What is the rule of six?

Social interactions must be limited to a group of no more six people from different households. Children are counted in the group of six. This is known as the rule of six.

When the rule of six is allowed in England businesses and venues following Covid Secure guidelines can host multiple groups of six or two households (outdoors for some sites from the 29 March and others from the 12 April, and indoors from the 17 May) provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission in line with Covid Secure guidance including completion of a Risk Assessment.

No one should visit a venue in a group of greater than six or in a group of two households unless they are in the same bubble e.g. a school class.

Roadmap out of lockdown

Step 1

From 8 March

Key changes:

  • All children will return to schools in England. This can be a phased return over the week.
  • Before and after school clubs can restart “where this provision is necessary to support parents to work, attend education and access medical care, and is as part of pupil’s wider education and training”.
  • Practical Higher Education courses restart.
  • Recreation or exercise allowed outside with one other person not from your household.
From 29 March

Key changes:

  • Out-of-school settings can run outdoor activities for children without restrictions on the reason for children attending.
  • Rule of 6 – up to six adults from different households can meet outdoors.
  • Two households can meet outdoors.
  • People from different households should still socially distance from each other.
Indoor supervised activities

Children can attend indoor childcare or supervised activities where doing so will allow parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical attention or attend a support group, or the provision is for vulnerable children and young people, or children on free school meals, where they are attending as part of the Department for Education’s holiday activities and food programme. The same group size rules apply as outdoors.

Parent and child groups

Parent and child groups can take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees plus staff (children under five years of age do not count towards the attendee limit).

Group sizes

For out-of-school provision groups should either be a continuation of school bubbles, or if this is not possible group sizes should not exceed 15 plus staff. The guidance states:

Multiple groups of 15 children plus staff can use the same shared space if necessary, with distancing between the groups and adequate ventilation. Although, different groups sharing the same space should be avoided where possible.

Step 2

No earlier than 12 April

Key changes:

  • Majority of outdoor settings and attractions can reopen including ‘drive-in performances’ events. The rules on social contact outdoors will apply in these settings.
  • Libraries open.
  • All children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity regardless of circumstance. Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.

People from different households should still socially distance from each other.

Step 3

No earlier than 17 May

Key changes:

  • Museums open.
  • Gatherings of up to 30 allowed outdoors.
  • Rule of 6 indoors: people will be able to meet socially in a group of 6.
  • Two households can meet indoors.
  • Non-professional activity able to resume e.g. clubs.

People from different households should still socially distance from each other.

Theatre and concert performances allowed with provisos:

  • Controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted.
  • Outdoor events with a capacity of either 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower.
  • The Government will also make a special provision for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.
  • Pilots as part of the Events Research Programme will run to examine how such events can take place without the need for social distancing using other mitigations such as testing.

Step 4

No earlier than 21 June

All legal limits on social contact removed, guidance published on how best to reduce the risk of transmission.

Reopen the remaining closed settings, enable large events, including theatre performances, above the Step 3 capacity restrictions, subject to the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme.