Music: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th August 2020.

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Photo of The Earl of Clancarty The Earl of Clancarty Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for School Standards on 24 July (HC75223), whether new guidance will allow private music educators to resume the teaching of (1) face to face singing, (2) woodwind instruments, and (3) brass instruments.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The teaching of singing, woodwind instruments, and brass instruments, including one-to-one instruction can take place in school and home environments, as long as the relevant guidance is followed.

The department published detailed guidance on 2 July for schools for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September 2020. This guidance provides schools, colleges and nurseries with the details needed to plan for a full return, as well as reassuring parents about what to expect for their children, this guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The department has also published guidance for providers of community activities, holiday and after-school clubs as well as other out-of-school provision for children over the age of five, which sets out the protective measures that need to be in place to ensure that such settings can open as safely as possible, this guidance can be found here: 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.

Relevant organisations and individuals should note that there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where people are singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments or shouting. This applies even if individuals are at a distance.

As the risk of transmission is considerably lower outdoors, organisations and individuals who normally run sessions indoors should consider whether they are able to do so safely outside. However, if this is not possible then private music teachers working from their own home should consider whether a specific, well-ventilated room could be designated for lessons.

Organisations and individuals should also be aware that at this time they should not be permitting live performances, including music, to take place in front of a live audience

Further more detailed Department for Education guidance on music will be published shortly.

The government has also published specific guidance for people working out of the home, this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

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