This page covers self-organised indoor meets and groups, not in your own home, but with parents still present and individually responsible for their own children. For example, grouping together to hire a community hall or scout hut.
This page does not apply to provision covered by the government definition of out-of-school settings (although the guidance is linked below). If you are running an out-of-school setting, please refer to that guidance directly.
Also please note that the site author is not involved in any community indoor meets. This page was made on request but I haven’t actually used it myself. This may mean that with the best intentions I may miss something relevant. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you spot anything missing.
This page contains two sections:
Current law, and Practical Advice.
The legislation and guidance changes frequently. Please see the home page for details of the current law on EHE in general.
Sign up to get emails when the government adds new coronavirus education and childcare information: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare
THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY NOT BEING UPDATED, APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE. The advice below relates to the situation before the roadmap. It may still have some useful links.
Please note that during the national restrictions, although EHE is permitted in law, there may be some confusion among police and the general public. See the home page for details.
Regardless, you shouldn’t be fined or arrested for organising an educational activity as described in the legislation, particularly if there are under 30 people attending. However, you should be prepared to end the activity and all go home if the police were to challenge you. If you understand this, then you should be alright to meet. (And again, I’m not responsible for rogue police!)
Although community self-organised gatherings are unfortunately not mentioned in the lockdown guidance, the OOSS guidance stated that only certain children should attend. Although this guidance doesn’t actually apply to our settings, it may be worth having a look for comparison, and deciding how cautious you personally wish to be with the interpretation.
Self-organised indoor meets do not, at the time of writing, have any unique requirements in the guidance, other than following the guidance relevant to the type of premises you use.
Screenshot from this page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
I will update if I become aware of any additional changes relevant to this specific type of gathering. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have seen any new guidance.
For comparison, when meeting inside someone’s home, the rules for Out Of School Settings (OOSS) should be followed “as far as possible”. But indoor meets not in a home are not listed as having to follow these requirements.
It might be sensible to follow the OOSS guidelines “as far as possible” for your indoor group. Please also check the guidance in case it has been updated.
The main things to note will be:
• checking the guidance relevant to your venue type
• making a decision on numbers based on what seems sensible for the space (please refer to the OOSS guidance for recommended current practice in terms of hygiene)
• keeping a record of attendees in case someone falls ill later
• good hygiene practices
• note that you don’t have to wear face coverings for educational gatherings, unless the venue requires it
Here is the OOSS guidance. Note that a self-organised group with parents retaining responsibility is not itself an OOSS, but this guidance can still help make sure we are doing our best to take it all seriously and stay safe. Please have a look at the guidance pages yourself if you are organising an educational activity indoors.
Finally, see this article (with animations) on how ventilation affects indoor settings: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-10-28/a-room-a-bar-and-a-class-how-the-coronavirus-is-spread-through-the-air.html
Updated 7 March 2021
Disclaimer: This site is personal interpretation only, not legal advice, and not a substitute for checking the laws directly. It’s also not a “get out of jail free” card if you break the rules and arrange a purely social activity with no educational purpose. Please decide for yourself!