Space for Learning

England

Adhering to relevant government advice

England now has three tiers of alerts in place; medium, high and very high, with different restrictions for museums and arts organisations across the tiers. You can look up which tier you are in using the postcode tier lookup.

There is specific guidance from the government for Performing Arts, Heritage sites, Education visits, Music dance and drama activities, Out-of-school settings, and the Visitor Economy which covers museums, galleries and performing arts venues.  

DCMS has created a grid which covers restrictions for the visitor economy. In Tier 3 areas all indoor attractions and venues have to close to visitors, including museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls. The guidance does state in Tier 3 while venues are shut ‘Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with the Performing Arts guidance’.

Schools remain open in all tiers and guidance from the Department for Education shapes what can happen in education settings. All businesses and venues that are open are expected to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect visitors and workers.

 Tier 1
(medium)
Tier 2
(high)
Tier 3
(very high)
Rule of 6 indoorsAllowedNo – You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting.No – You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting.
Rule of 6 outdoorsAllowedAllowedOnly in some spaces: parks, grounds of a heritage site
Support groups of up to 15 participantsAllowedAllowedAllowed
Museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, music venuesOpenOpenClosed
Indoor events (performances and shows)Permitted, with a socially distanced audience, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity or 1,000 peoplePermitted, with a socially distanced audience, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity or 1,000 peopleIndoor entertainment and tourist venues must close.
Outdoor events (performances and shows)Permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoorsPermitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or 2,000 people outdoorsLarge outdoor events should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
Early closure11pm: applies to theatres, concert halls and museums. Theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.11pm: applies to theatres, concert halls and museums. Theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.Not open

What is the rule of six?

Social interactions must be limited to a group of no more six people from different households. Children are counted in the group of six. This is known as the rule of six.

In England businesses and venues following Covid Secure guidelines can host multiple groups of six or households in line with the tier restrictions, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission in line with Covid Secure guidance including completion of a Risk Assessment.

No one should visit a venue in a group of greater than six unless they are in the same bubble e.g. a school class. 

Tier levels: groups larger than six allowed?

Exemptions from gatherings limits in all tiers:

  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes
  • for childcare, education or training – meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children’s playgroups
  • for formal support groups, and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and older are allowed to meet, plus any staff: ‘Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support.’

School bubbles

Guidance for schools in England from the Department for Education (DfE) states that Primary age children are expected to work in whole class bubbles and Secondary age children may need to work in year group bubbles.

You should consider how you can ensure social distancing, of ideally two metres, between your staff and freelancers and any school bubbles that visit your site. 

Moving between tiers, eg for school visits

If you live in a tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher tier you should follow the rules for that area while you are there. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey

If you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey

If you live in a tier 3 area ‘avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services.’

Read more on tiers.

School advice relevant to cultural learning

Non-overnight domestic educational visits

During the autumn term schools have been able to take pupils on non-overnight domestic educational visits. Schools have been advised by the Department for Education (DfE) to make use of outdoor spaces in the local area to support the delivery of the curriculum.

Peripatetic teachers

Many colleagues already regularly deliver arts and cultural activities in schools and could be defined as peripatetic teachers. For some venue based colleagues who do not already deliver outreach services in schools this could be an area to consider for delivery in the coming months.

Department for Education guidance explicitly states schools can continue to engage peripatetic teachers during this period, including staff from music education hubs. Peripatetic teachers can move between schools, for instance, but schools should consider how to minimise the number of visitors where possible. 

Peripatetic teachers should:

  1. Maintain distancing requirements with each group they teach, where appropriate.
  2. Avoid situations where distancing requirements are broken; for an example demonstrating partnering work in dancing.
  3. Make efforts to reduce the number of groups taught and locations worked in, to reduce the number of contacts made.

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.

Music, dance and drama in schools

The DfE schools reopening guidance includes the statement:

“All pupils should have access to a quality arts education. Music, dance and drama build confidence and help children live happier, more enriched lives, and discover the joy of expressing themselves. There may, however, be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments, dance and drama takes place.”

DfE guidance is clear though that singing, wind and brass instrument playing and dance and drama can be undertaken in line with their and other guidance:

“With appropriate safety mitigation and consideration, singing, wind and brass teaching can still take place.”

Expanded advice on running music, dance and drama activities in schools is available from the DfE.

Guidance for out-of-school-settings

Providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, breakfast or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children can open for both outdoor and indoor provision provided that they follow the protective measures set out by the DfE in the Out-of-school settings guidance.

The guidance now includes additional information for providers of music, dance and drama activities.

Providers of youth services and activities should also refer to the National Youth Agency’s guidance for managing youth sector spaces and activities during COVID-19 as well as their accompanying tools and resources to support safe service provision.

Multiple groups of 15 children plus staff can use the same shared space, if that is necessary, with distancing between the groups. 

The guidance for out-of-school settings, which has been updated to include educational visits as well as holiday and out of school clubs, states:

  • Supervised activities, training and education for children can continue to operate at all alert levels both inside and outdoors at medium, high and very high alert levels.
  • Children and young people who attend your setting should be kept in small, consistent groups, and of no more than 15 children and at least one staff member.
  • If you are operating provision for multiple small groups of children throughout the day, you should allow sufficient changeover time between different classes for cleaning to take place and to prevent children and parents or carers waiting in large groups.

The guidance for children and adults differs as a result of the reduced risk to children compared to adults of Covid-19.

School tiers

Schools are working under a different set of Tiers from 1 to 4 and each upper tier local authority (UTLA)  will make decisions about what tier local schools should be in.

Tier 1

Primary schools open as usual. Face mask Year 7 and above when moving around school

Tier 2

Primary Schools open as usual. Face mask Year 7 and above when moving around schools, secondary schools move to rota model combining on-site provision with remote education, except for vulnerable children and children of critical workers who attend full time.

Tier 3

Primary schools open as usual. Face mask Year 7 and above when moving around school, Secondary schools  allow full-time on-site provision only to vulnerable children, the children of critical workers and selected year groups. Other secondary pupils should not attend on site. Remote education to be provided for all other pupils.

Tier 4

All nurseries, childminders, mainstream schools, colleges and other educational establishments allow full-time attendance on site only to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other pupils should not attend on site. Remote education to be provided for all other pupils.