Schools asking for advice on whether they need to continue to pay for services that were cancelled e.g. private coaching providers
We recommend schools and providers work together to understand the implications of Covid measures on their agreements. Each agreement will be specific to the particular situation and the DfE is unable to provide advice on a national level.
Swimming is a key area that keeps cropping up as many schools did not deliver on their swimming provision last year due to Covid. Schools are citing concerns over whether it is safe to do so given the close nature of swimming teaching, especially non-swimmers.
Schools are able to resume swimming lessons where they can do so in line with guidance. The DfE guidance for the Wider Opening of Schools sets out that schools should follow the returning to pools guidance documents which has been developed by Swim England in cooperation with industry partners, including local authorities, leisure operators, the Department for Education and the Association for Physical Education. This document aims to support schools, swim schools and operators with the return of National Curriculum School Swimming and Water Safety following the period of closure and provides guidance on reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission within the swimming pool environment.
Queries relating to coaches who are working across multiple sites and guidance on whether this is safe
Coaches are able to work across school sites on the basis they adhere to Government guidance and comply with the school's arrangements for managing and minimising risk, including taking particular care to maintain distance from other staff and pupils. Schools should ensure they are considering carefully how such arrangements can operate within their wider protective measures and should also have regard to any other relevant government guidance.
Guidance for schools using private travel provision to access swimming and sports competitions
It is for schools to assess the risks and put in place appropriate measures for transport. We have provided guidance on dedicated transport to schools and other places of education. You may wish to have regard to this guidance to help you: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transport-to-school-and-other-places-of-education-autumn-term-2020
Can PE still be delivered in indoor settings when the weather doesn't allow for outdoor facilities?
Outdoor sports should be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it is not, maximising natural ventilation flows (through opening windows and doors or using air conditioning systems wherever possible) distancing between pupils and paying scrupulous attention to cleaning and hygiene. This is particularly important in a sports setting because of the way in which people breathe during exercise.