Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential health benefits of using outdoor spaces to teach; and what plans they have to (1) support, and (2) encourage, schools to make increased use of outdoor spaces as learning environments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We recognise that outdoor education can be beneficial for the health and wellbeing of children and young people, and that outdoor space offers additional benefits to allow for distance between people during the coronavirus outbreak. Our guidance to help schools and other education settings prepare for wider opening to more pupils from 1 June, explicitly encourages the use of outdoor space and outdoor education where possible. In particular, we are asking schools to consider which lessons or activities could take place outdoors as part of a range of approaches they can take to help reduce transmission. We are also asking schools to use their outside space for exercise and breaks.

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