The Department for Education has confirmed with afPE that from 2nd December their previous guidance for schools will come back into force. Access it HERE.
Please note, a new sentence has been added to the guidance, highlighted below (in bold and italics), to help clarify the role of team sport activities in PE.
The specific ‘Physical Activity in Schools’ section extract is as follows:
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.
In considering what team sports can be offered, those whose national governing bodies have developed guidance under the principles of the government’s guidance on team sport and been approved by the government are permitted. Schools must only provide team sports on the list available at return to recreational team sport framework.
Pupils should be kept in consistent groups, sports equipment thoroughly cleaned between each use by different individual groups.
Schools can hold PE lessons indoors, including those that involve activities related to team sports, for example practising specific techniques, within their own system of controls. For sport provision, 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. External facilities can also be used in line with government guidance for the use of, and travel to and from, those facilities.
Schools should refer to the following guidance:
- guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation and guidance from Sport England for grassroot sport
- advice from organisations such as the Association for Physical Education and the Youth Sport Trust
- guidance from Swim England on school swimming and water safety lessons available at returning to pools guidance documents
- using changing rooms safely
Schools are able to work with external coaches, clubs and organisations for curricular and extra-curricular activities where they are satisfied that it is safe to do so. Schools should consider carefully how such arrangements can operate within their wider protective measures.
Activities such as active miles, making break times and lessons active and encouraging active travel help to enable pupils to be physically active while encouraging physical distancing.