Summer clubs given go-ahead to run in schools - but group singing discouraged

Schools can host summer clubs during the holidays for children of all year groups – but group singing is discouraged.

The government has published guidance today after pledging last week that providers running community activities, holiday and after-school clubs and other out-of-school provision can operate over the summer.

The guidance states that, when state schools in the local area have closed for summer, then children of all ages are permitted to attend.

However, there will be a cap of 15 children per group, with at least one staff member per group too.

The guidance also states there are an “additional risk of infection” from “singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly”.

“This applies even if others are at a distance to you. 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 for example.”

The Department for Education will publish “more detailed guidance on music and singing for September onwards… shortly”.

The news that providers can get up and running again to more pupils over summer will be welcome news for schools that rely on revenue from renting our their buildings.

Providers of out-of-school and holiday activities operate from a range of premises including schools and other regulated educational institutions.

Schools have also been told they can spend the £650 million catch-up cash on running summer clubs for pupils.

The guidance states providers offering classroom-based provision should follow safety guidance for schools such as ensuring desks are spaced as far apart as possible.

The guidance states: “Attending out-of-school-settings can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of children and young people. However, it is crucial that we ensure we are minimising the risks to the nation’s health.

“It is for this reason that parents and carers are being encouraged to limit the number of settings their children attend as far as possible, and ideally to ensure their children attend the same setting consistently.”