We want to reiterate for clarity that under the national lockdown restriction legislation all clubs in England are required to close unless providing pre-existing registered childcare.
We are aware of an update to existing Government guidance which has been widely circulated on social media which incorrectly suggests gymnastics clubs can resume operations under the guise of providing childcare.
There are several guidance pages published by the Government before 5th November which have caused confusion and we want to provide clarity. As much as we would all love gymnastics clubs to reopen, we have had clear guidance and confirmation from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that clubs will need to close. The new national restriction legislation as per the 5th November 2020 supersedes all other guidance.
The Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings is now only applicable to centres, venues and businesses which are legally able to open, such as those whose primary purpose is providing registered childcare, or where they are offering other pre-existing childcare activities, where that childcare is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, search for work or undertake training or education. It is not enough to say that your club provides a childcare service because children are supervised in their gymnastics sessions, you must be able to prove you run registered childcare to children, for example being registered with Ofsted.
A very small number of exemptions do exist within the legislation, including the provision of respite care, with potential implications for a very small number of existing activities to continue within gymnastics clubs. These are highlighted in our updated FAQ’s related to lockdown within the Step Forward Plan area of the British Gymnastics website.