To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to engage with the youth sector on the covid-19 rules for summer camps for children; and what steps can be taken to make summer camps covid-safe.
18 June 2021
The Department recognises the significant benefits that summer camps and other forms of education outside the classroom can have on children’s academic development as well as their mental health and wellbeing.
Since 17 May 2021, out-of-school settings, such as those offering residential summer camps, have been able to undertake overnight stays with children, in groups of six or two households (including at least one member of staff). From 21 June, out-of-school settings will be able to undertake residential visits and overnight stays can take place with groups of up to 30 children. The Department has provided updated guidance on protective measures for holiday or after school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the COVID-19 outbreak, which sets out how out-of-school settings can conduct residential visits safely.
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has followed the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to handle the COVID-19 outbreak. As new evidence or data emerges, the Government will act accordingly to ensure that all out-of-school settings have the right safety measures in place, and that measures remain proportionate to the threat posed by COVID-19. The advice on residential visits will therefore be reviewed again in advance of Step 4 of the roadmap.
The Department is also working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Youth Agency to ensure the Government has full awareness of the effect the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the youth sector. In response to youth sector engagement, dedicated youth sector COVID-19 guidance has been developed by the National Youth Agency in collaboration with DCMS, the Department, youth sector organisations and public health experts.