Teaching music safely in schools
Music Mark (the UK Association for Music Education) has published updated guidance for schools and providers summarising government guidelines and scientific advice on Covid-19 and Music Education. Here are the headlines as they appear in the document published on 2nd September:
Visiting teachers (including project staff) can be welcomed into schools; they can teach in multiple schools and across bubbles with mitigations (this guidance includes a suggested code of practice for visiting teachers);
Singing and playing of woodwind and brass instruments are no longer limited to groups of 15 in class (the limit does still apply in extra-curricular activity);
Extended social distancing for these activities appears to have been lifted, although we continue to recommend it as a mitigation, particularly for singing and playing mouth-blown instruments;
Musical lunchtime and after-school clubs (ensembles) can take place, although additional mitigations are necessary where they involve children from more than one bubble;
There is a recognised risk from the accumulation of aerosols, so the need to ventilate spaces is heightened;
Performances can take place with live audiences, subject to sufficient space and ventilation.
In response to this, WFMS has drawn up a Supplementary Covid-19 Risk Assessment (pdf, updated February 2021) which seeks to provide control measures for instrumental and WCET teaching in schools. The document was developed in accordance with the latest guidelines and recommendations from DfE as well as Music Mark’s guidance Music Unlocked.
WFMS has also adopted Music Mark’s recommended staff code of practice with reference to Covid-19 and our tutors are working closely with each school they teach at to develop school specific arrangements for social distancing, cleaning and hygiene, lesson timetabling, pupil changeovers, etc.
Waltham Forest Music Service is ready to work flexibly within each school’s own policies and risk assessments in order to give children the opportunity to access music at school.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss music education in your school.
#CanDoMusic is a campaign created to support school music teachers and signpost them to practical resources so that children and teachers #CanDoMusic in school.