Reopening of Training Schools in the UK.
England - Accredited schools in England can open from Monday 8th March 2021 with models restricted to other students or training staff members, ie members of the public cannot be used as models. See full details in the page below.
Scotland – An announcement on when training schools can open is expected on 15th March 2021
Wales – The next review of restrictions will be on 12th March 2021
Northern Ireland – The next review of the restrictions will be on 16th March 2021
Full Details Of Training School Opening Restrictions – issued 4th March 2021
There has been a lot of confusion regarding the opening of training schools in England which thankfully we have today been able to resolve with the Government’s Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Throughout the pandemic the Beauty Guild has been meticulous in only providing information that can be sourced to government guidance or government officials. You can read the current guidance for further education that was issued by the Department for Education (DfE). On page 5 of this guidance (as at today’s date of 4th March 2021) it states that from 8th March all students will be able to return to on-site education.
Since this guidance was first issued, certain factions in Government and industry have been trying to row back on allowing training to reopen in the beauty sector. Whilst the Department for Education is responsible for training, the Government department responsible for beauty salons is the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Nobody is questioning the fact that the earliest salons can open for the provision of beauty treatments is 12th April 2021 and that they must follow the guidance for close contact services published by BEIS. But whilst this guidance is clear that salons must remain closed for the provision of treatments to clients, it does not prevent them from opening for the provision of training – which is permitted under the DfE guidance for further education.
BEIS initially provided industry bodies with information regarding the opening of schools which was inconsistent with the guidance from the DfE and was also not clear on the use of models. So we asked if our accredited training schools could return and what restrictions would be in place for models, and a BEIS spokesperson advised us:
“Accredited further education courses can go ahead from 8th March when other schools/colleges resume, and this includes private providers. You are correct that it applies to all students and the guidance on Further Education that you refer to should be followed.
However, we have clarified that this can take place on-site, but not in business premises required to close in legislation. If it takes place in business settings required to close (such as hair salons), then the training can only be conducted on staff members. This will all be set out in the guidance, but this is the steer thus far.
On your question about models, I will come back with confirmation shortly.”
Some organisations in the industry issued press releases earlier this week based on this information, or “steer”, which I consider to be jumping the gun somewhat as a) it does not actually reflect what is in the official guidance from the Department of Education, and b) it does not provide the level of clarification and detail required.
Not satisfied with the initial response from BEIS, we sought further clarification. BEIS advised this morning that:
- As previously confirmed, commercial salons can train their own staff on their own premises, but only if this training cannot be done at home and if there are no non-staff members present (i.e. other staff members will have to play the role of the customer).
- If a commercial salon is located within the premises of an FE college or other training provider, and is used primarily for training purposes, then the salon can be used for education and training purposes at Step 1. Any training that takes place in these salons can only involve students and the staff of the training provider. Members of the public cannot be involved until Step 2.
- If a training provider has a contractual relationship with a salon external to the training provider (i.e. not within the premises of the training provider), and uses this salon's facilities for training, then this salon will remain closed at Step 1 and cannot be used for education or training purposes until Step 2.
For the avoidance of any doubt, we asked BEIS to confirm our interpretation on these three points as follows:
- This is clear. Any commercial salon can train their own staff on their own premises but no members of the public are allowed on the premises. The salon does not need to be an accredited training provider.
- Our understanding is that commercial salons that provide accredited training come under your definition of “other training provider”. Most of our accredited training schools will fall into this category. At the moment, commercial salons are required to close and therefore cannot be used for the commercial purposes of offering treatments to members of the public. This mean that their primary use until 12th April (indeed, their only permitted use) is for training purposes. So these accredited training providers can use their commercial salon premises for training purposes for staff and students. The only models allowed are either training staff or other students, ie no members of the public can be used as models. This makes sense to us because the credentials of an accredited school can be verified by the accrediting organisation, so only genuine accredited training will be permitted.
- This means that an accredited training provider cannot run an offsite training course in the premises of a commercial salon that is not itself an accredited training school. It will limit accredited training providers from offering offsite training but we understand the need for this restriction as it will prevent commercial salons from opening and offering treatments to clients under the guise of “training”.
I’m very pleased to say that BEIS did not disagree with our interpretation on all of these points which is also consistent with the official guidance issued by the Department for Education which is the authority in this case.
So there you have it. It’s taken a while, but we have finally got detailed confirmation from the Government that accredited schools in England can open from Monday 8th March 2021 with models restricted to other students or training staff members, ie members of the public cannot be used as models.