Response to Sports Day parent comments

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I understand very well the feelings of parents regarding the decision to hold our Sports Day as a ‘parent free’ event, due to complications associated with Covid 19. It is and always will be, a special event in any school’s calendar. I too am perplexed by how it is possible to hold a football final with 27,000 people at the Adelaide Oval yet for schools it is not possible as it is far more complex. On contacting the Covid-19 DfE hotline, we were informed that we could proceed if our school kept our total numbers to less than 1000 people inclusive of children, students, employees and guests. It is recommended an online RSVP/booking system is used to record attendance numbers and contact details of guests. With staff and students we total just over 820 individuals which would leave ‘places’ for 180 parents/others. Who would those 180 parents be? Who would decide and based on what criteria? Who would be our Covid marshals and how would these 180 parents respond if they were unhappy with requests made of them?  All somewhat complex I believe.

The other suggestion from the hotline was we run it for students only. At BPS we adopted a wait and see approach and have only just made the decision. This has been debated at length at our Governing Council and it would be true to say that all views were presented. A number of your council members were very keen for our Sports Day to proceed and with parents. What I did guarantee was that we would hold a Sports Day in term 4-in some capacity.

There are 5 Primary schools in our Partnership-Glenelg, St Leonards, Warradale, Paringa and Brighton. As I have stated in a previous post, 2 held their Sports Day without parents last term, one cancelled altogether and two will hold their Sports Day this term without parents, including us here at Brighton. As a Partnership we strive to all adopt a similar/same approach after considerable debate. We are doing what our other local primary schools are doing or have done-no different.

I am aware of  a number of other schools through a Principal network and none have proceeded as normal. I understand that there have been some very small schools who can hold a normal Sports Day following all the above guidelines-but they are no where near our size, with far less challenges. Apart from the above few, as to the claim that schools have had parents on site, that is not my understanding-a number of schools have had parents off site, on the fence line, watching the day. This could happen along  Highet Avenue.

What I must stress is that this is decision is based on Health advice. I also believe we have done remarkably well to keep our state and our community very safe. From our school’s perspective I think we have managed all challenges extremely well, under considerable pressure. We will have two cameras running throughout the day streaming the action. One will be positioned on the more formal running races, while the other will ‘roam’. Early years teachers will be videoing and photographing the action and Seesaw posts will occur. I believe we are doing our very best under a very challenging set of circumstances.





6 thoughts on “Response to Sports Day parent comments

  1. Thank you for the explanation Ian. It’s been a challenging year for all and I accept this was a difficult decision. I’m first time Foundation parent, and while it would be nice to attend and watch, I’m just happy that sports day is being held.
    Knowing that the kids will support one another and enjoy their sports day as a school wide celebration might just help them grow in ways we might not have otherwise given them the opportunity to experience.

  2. Thank you Ian for providing a detailed explanation of the challenges you face as Principa and the restrictions you are having to work to. This is much appreciated. It is disappointing for parents not to be able to attend but hopefully the weather is fine and the students have a great day regardless.

  3. It seems the advice from SA Health is contradictory, as usual. As of this morning the advice is as follows: “There are no limits on outdoor gatherings in the state, and private residences may host up to 50 people. SA Health reminded those celebrating to maintain a 1.5m distance from those in different groups”. There is no reason, besides income for the government and advertising for the state, in the case of Adelaide Oval, that sports days cannot precede as usual

  4. Thanks Ian.
    I often feel that anxiety comes from lack of communication and perhaps stating the facts up front would do a lot to alleviate this rather than just we won’t be doing something.
    We understand the complexities of covid restrictions, it’s the inconsistency we face with the schools- particularly within our partnerships.
    Poor Warradale Like us kids can’t have a sports day with spectators but they can have an open event for the public on the oval tonight? Hard to explain that to kids, and myself honestly.
    I know it’s a different school but it’s the same advice I imagine From Dfe on school grounds?

    1. Sheree-I understand that Warradale is having one parent per family to their Sports Day as they are a small school(375 students) and the 1000 person limit will not be breached.

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