Parents set to miss out as schools press ahead with sports day plans

Gareth Southgate's team could well inspire the next generation of footballers Picture: Getty Images

Schools are pressing ahead with plans for sports days - but parents are likely to miss out - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Parents are set to miss out on cheering on youngsters at sports days this summer, as Covid restrictions mean many schools are opting not to allow spectators. 

Schools across the county are taking part in National School Sport Week and hosting their first sports days since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Public Health Suffolk has confirmed sports days are permitted to go ahead, as long as class bubbles are maintained and sports equipment is cleaned.

However, a spokesman said: "It is up to schools to risk assess their sports day plans and decide if it is appropriate to invite spectators.

"Any spectators must stick to social distancing requirements and legal gathering limits where, outdoors, spectators can gather in separate groups of up to 30."

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Although current restrictions allows schools to welcome visitors on-site in groups of 30, many are understood to not being allowing any spectators for their sports days.

Karen Mills, executive of Suffolk Primary Headteachers' Association, has said sports days are going ahead "for the most part" but said decisions on whether to allow spectators were down to individual schools.

Karen Mills, executive of Suffolk Primary Headteachers' Association

Karen Mills, executive of Suffolk Primary Headteachers' Association - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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She said: "Sports days are, for the most part, going ahead but arrangements in terms of how many people can attend are down to particular schools.

"Many schools will be going ahead with this, but it is down to individual schools.

"Parents are being asked to follow guidelines. It's all about keeping people safe - all schools will want parents there, but you have to be sensible.

"I think a lot of schools have put their sports days back to the end of term, so if there is any change from the government then they can react to that."

Hannah Tyzack, headteacher of Wickhambrook Primary Academy, described sports days as a "rich experience" but said parents would not be allowed to attend the school's event on Wednesday for safety reasons.

Hannah Tyzack is the new headteacher at Wickhambrook Primary Academy, near Haverhill

Hannah Tyzack is the new headteacher at Wickhambrook Primary Academy, near Haverhill - Credit: Wickhambrook Primary Academy

She added: "We wanted to have it planned so that we didn't have to change things last minute. But staff will be out on the field with iPads and uploading videos.

"It's going to be very different this year. It's usually a day for parents to come and it has a real family feel.

"We are missing that side of it, but we need to be safe."

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