Singing clubs banned as Government issues rules on school activities

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Children from all year groups will be able to attend clubs in schools during the summer holidays – but activities that involve group singing should be avoided, according to new Government guidance.

Holiday and after-school clubs should encourage all children to walk or cycle to the setting, or to get dropped off by a member of their household in a private vehicle, rather than taking public transport.

The safety advice comes after the Government announced that providers of out-of-school and holiday activities will be able to operate over the summer.

Once state schools in the local area have closed for the summer term, all children over the age of five in England will be able to attend clubs in schools, the guidance says.

But children and young people should still be kept in “small, consistent groups” of no more than 15 pupils, with at least one staff member to reduce the risk of transmission.

The guidance on summer activities encourages parents and carers to send their child to the “same setting consistently” to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus.

Children should also not be offered “overnight or residential provision” for the time being.

The advice also notes that there may be an additional risk of infection from “singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly” – even if others are standing at a distance.

“You should consider this added risk in environments that require children or adults to raise their voice to communicate with anyone outside their household and consider how to reduce the risk by avoiding particular activities in your setting, such as group singing activities,” the guidance says.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said it will publish more detailed guidance on music and singing for September onwards “shortly”.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said a detailed plan on how the Government will ensure that all children in England are back in the classroom in the autumn will be set out by the end of this week.

Draft proposals seen by the Huffington Post suggest that schools in England could create “year bubbles” of up to 240 pupils to ensure all children can return to the classroom safely in September.

Primary school class sizes are currently capped at 15 pupils to reduce the number of interactions between young children, but these so-called “bubbles” are set to be doubled to 30 pupils in September.

In secondary schools, bubbles of entire year groups could be introduced in the autumn term to limit the number of interactions with pupils of other ages, according to the draft proposals.



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