Outdoor Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th July 2020.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Brexit), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department’s advice on overnight stays on outdoor activity centres in (a) England and (b) Wales.

Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Brexit), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with HM Treasury on Government support for the outdoor activity sector following his Department’s advice on overnight stays.

Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent guidance his Department has issued on the operation of (a) Scouts, (b) Guides and (c) other children's extra-curricular activities as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department has published guidance for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children over the age of 5, setting out the safety measures that must be in place to ensure they can operate over the summer holiday: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

This follows confirmation from my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, that from Saturday 4 July these providers can operate, with safety measures in place.

The guidance advises that children and young people can take part in outdoor activities in small, consistent groups of no more than 15 with at least one staff member. Out-of-school provision should not, however, offer overnight or residential provision for the time-being. This is consistent with the latest government guidance on meeting people from outside your household, (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july) which advises that you should not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households.

Outdoor activity providers who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 can find out what financial support is available for their business here: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder. They may be eligible for tax relief, loans or cash grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for example depending on their circumstances.

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