Schools: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the additional costs facing schools in ensuring that gym and sports equipment is cleaned and maintained to a sufficient standard to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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

Schools have the flexibility to decide how physical education, sport and physical activity will be provided whilst following the measures in their system of controls. Pupils should be kept in consistent groups, sports equipment thoroughly cleaned between each use by different individual groups. The government’s guidance for the full opening of schools includes guidance on physical activity and provides links to additional advice that is available to support schools with the safe use of equipment from organisations such as the Association for PE, the Youth Sport Trust, Swim England and Sport England. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

As stated in our reopening guidance, schools should use their existing resources when making arrangements to welcome all children back for the autumn. Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

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