Government gives sports days the go ahead despite Suffolk school changes

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The government has said school sports days can go ahead - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Government has said that school sports days can go ahead despite some schools in Suffolk putting restrictions in because of Covid. 

The Department for Education (DFE) has given the events the go-ahead as long as they are thoroughly risk assessed and don't see bubbles mixing. 

A DfE spokesman said: “Outdoor events like sports days can go ahead as long as they’re thoroughly risk assessed and conducted in line with guidance around cleaning shared equipment and not mixing bubbles. This applies for parents attending too.”

Spectators can gather in separate groups of up to 30 outdoors and they need to observe social distancing, according to a blog by the department. 

“This means, dependent on the size of the area available, multiple groups of 30 could theoretically attend events as long as there is no mixing between groups at any stage,” the DfE adds.

However, many schools, including those in Suffolk, have already made changes to their sports day plans.

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Wickhambrook Primary Academy is among the schools that have decided to ask parents to stay away from the event. 

Speaking earlier this week, headteacher Hannah Tyzack said that they would miss having parents at the event. 

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"We wanted to have it planned so that we didn't have to change things last minute. But staff will be out on the field with iPads and uploading videos," she said. 

"It's going to be very different this year. It's usually a day for parents to come and it has a real family feel.

"We are missing that side of it, but we need to be safe."

Former West Suffolk headteacher and general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Geoff Barton, said: “Schools will be aware of the extremely brief guidance from the DfE about running sports days with Covid safety measures in place.

“If they have decided not to go ahead with sports days, it isn’t because they are unaware of the guidance, but because of the practicalities involved in managing bubbles of children and spectators with limited staffing and multiple other pressures on their time.

“This is likely to be the case particularly in schools which are experiencing high levels of disruption because of positive Covid cases and rules which say that all close contacts have to self-isolate.”

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