Home Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st October 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 restricts children from gathering in groups of more than six for home-schooling; and if he will publish guidance on gatherings for home-schooling.

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

Guidance on protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings, during the COVID-19 outbreak was updated on 28 September 2020. This guidance also applies to home education and can be viewed here: 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/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Parents, including guardians and foster carers, who have chosen to home educate their own child may wish to have their children attend group activities either in out-of-school settings or in the homes of others who have chosen to home educate. They will though need to take account of the Department’s, ‘Elective home education; guidance for parents’, which is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elective-home-education.

Where a child who is home educated takes part in a group activity at the home of others who have chosen to home educate, the host should, as far as possible, follow the published guidance and also the guidance on working safely during coronavirus in other people’s homes which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

This applies only to group activities which have the principal purpose of education and should not be used to justify purely social activities beyond those recommended under the government’s general guidance on social distancing.

Multiple groups of 15 plus staff can use the same shared space, if that is necessary, with distancing between the groups. Where this is the case the other protective measures, within the guidance for providers, will be even more important to minimise the risk of infection and transmission of the virus. Where possible, those attending out-of-school settings should also practice social distancing in line with the government’s current staying alert and safe (social distancing) guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020, permits gatherings that are reasonably necessary for purposes of education or training.

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