The Scottish Government has kindly shared with us the following information in order to ensure home educators are apprised of the latest advice and guidance during these uncertain times due to Covid restrictions. Some or all may be of interest to home educating families and local groups.
We will post updates on this blog and through our community networks as we are notified of relevant information, which comes directly from the Scottish Government and can therefore be fully relied upon for accuracy.
- Unregulated organised activities for children
The updated guidance on organised activities for children was updated on 24 September 2020 https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-activities-for-children/
Key changes to note are:
- The number of people who can take part in indoor (and outdoor) organised activity that is unregulated has been updated; https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-activities-for-children/pages/other-important-things-to-consider/#Capacity%20and%20physical%20distancing
Organised activity indoors
- set a maximum number for indoor organised activities to 10 people (all ages included, no more than 5 adults)
- set a maximum number of households for indoor organised activities to 5
Organised activity outdoors
- set a maximum number for outdoor organised activities to 15 people (excluding under 12’s,)
- set a maximum number of households for outdoor organised activities to 15 – this includes the under 12’s.
Following the FM’s announcement on 21 September 2020, the option to deliver an organised activity in someone else’s or your own home has been removed; this will be reviewed every 3 weeks.
- What is meant by a ‘public space’ and a further reference to the Community Centre Guidance has been added, and who has overall responsibility for the premises, where they are not owned by the organisation/club/service provider: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-organised-activities-for-children/pages/other-important-things-to-consider/#Community%20centre
- Music and Drama
- The Advisory sub group on Education and Children has provided additional advice on singing, music and drama: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advisory-sub-group-on-education-and-childrens-issues-advice-on-physical-education-music-and-drama-in-schools/
- On 21 September, Education Scotland published guidance on the learning and teaching of music, which is available here: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/covid-19-return-to-educational-establishments/
- Animated Learning Resources
NHS Education for Scotland and Public Health Scotland have jointly produced ‘Animated Learning Resources – Promoting Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Preventing Self Harm and Suicide’, which complements the series they have already developed for the workforce supporting the adult population.
These have been developed in partnership with young people, parents and families and agencies who support young peoples’ mental health.
Flyer and further information about these activities can be found here: Mental Health Animated Learning Resource for People who work with Children and Young People
UPDATE, 1 October 2020
The following helpful response to our request for clarification has been received from the Scottish Government, which we hope will reassure home educators who wish to safely resume their group activities:
There isn’t a statutory basis for the organised activity for children guidance (that provides information on group sizes), but as it mentions in the overview, it is directed at unregulated activities and services. It is therefore purely advisory and there is no legal requirement to comply with it. This is not unusual, much of the guidance issued recently is non-statutory, and it is commonly explained in the overview who it is aimed at and what the expectation is surrounding compliance/observance.
The requirements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 are legal requirements, but education is exempted from the restrictions placed on gatherings in private dwellings. So there is no restriction on the numbers of persons who can gather in a private dwelling for the purposes of education. The guidance notes this and then goes on to suggest limitations, but since there is no such limit in the legislation, this can only be a recommendation.
There would be no consequences if a Home Educator chose not to comply with the suggested limits, or to follow other recommendations in the guidance.
Home Educators therefore can’t fall foul as you mention below, but the guidance is there (based on current scientific advise) to provide information on suitable group sizes and other considerations, to help Home Educators (and many others) plan for activities as safely as possible.