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Guidance is produced by the UK Government (for England) and by the devolved governments for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The advice on this page covers:

General considerations

  • The MU’s advice is for general guidance only. The MU can accept no liability for the consequences of decisions taken on the basis of our advice, including any illness or other adverse impact.
  • Your MU Public Liability Insurance is valid provided you, and any venue in which you are working, are following the current Government guidelines (and subject otherwise to the MU’s PLI policy terms and conditions).
  • Access to Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) depends on your employment status. Find out more on the Government’s website.
  • Read the general guidance on vaccines and testing for Covid-19.
  • Contact us if your education work has been affected and your particular circumstances have not been addressed by the announcements so far.
  • Refer to our guidance on health and safety for music teachers for advice on Covid-secure measures and risk assessments.
  • Pupils, staff and teachers should stay at home if they have symptoms, have had a positive Covid-19 test, or if they need to quarantine.
  • Schools and employers should support teachers who need to self-isolate to work from home if they are well enough to do so.

Teaching in England

The Government has published a plan for living with Covid-19 which came into force on 24 February when all remaining coronavirus restrictions were removed. It is no longer a requirement to self-isolate with a positive test, but new guidance still asks those with Covid-19 – including pupils and teachers – to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

Schools

There is updated Government guidance for schools and colleges in England to reflect the end of restrictions. Schools should still have measures in place to mitigate risks.

Asymptomatic testing and face coverings are no longer required, but schools may be asked to reintroduce these temporarily if there is a coronavirus breakout in line with the Department for Education’s contingency framework. Routine contract tracing has ended, and vaccinated close contacts are no longer required to test daily for seven days.

If you teach in a school or college, request a copy of the setting’s or your employer’s risk assessment, and discuss any concerns with your employer. If you are self-employed you should create your own risk assessment, which you may need to use alongside the setting’s risk assessment.

Private teaching

The Government’s guidance for out-of-school settings (covering music tuition) states that face-to-face activities can be offered to all children. Teachers should ensure that their studios and activities are risked-assessed and Covid-secure, following the Government’s contingency framework and guidance on working safely where necessary.

The Government no longer advises face coverings for children, staff and visitors in classrooms, communal areas or during indoor activities. There is no limit on group size, either indoors or outdoors. Covid-secure measures, such as good hygiene and ventilation, are still required.

The Government’s guidance for FE colleges (covering independent training providers) states that students of all ages can participate in face-to-face learning. We understand this to include adult learners in private tuition where activities are appropriately risk-assessed.

Teaching in Scotland

Scotland has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions but some legal restrictions remain, in particular around wearing face coverings in certain situations. Isolation with Covid-19 and contact tracing remain in place, and regular lateral flow testing twice a week is still recommended, including for teachers and pupils. It is expected that legal requirements will be reduced to recommendations later in March.

Schools

The Scottish Government publishes advice on reducing risk in schools as well as several other supporting documents that are periodically updated, including guidance on face masks and distancing, guidance on PE, music and drama, and Education Scotland’s music guidelines.

Children and young people can continue to engage in all music activity in schools. Face coverings are no longer required for pupils and staff in classrooms, but those who wish to continue to wear face coverings should be supported in doing so. Face coverings are still required in communal areas.

If you teach in a school, request a copy of the setting’s or your employer’s risk assessment, and discuss any concerns with your employer. If you are self-employed you should create your own risk assessment, which you may need to use alongside the setting’s risk assessment.

Private teaching

Private tuition can take place in homes and out-of-school settings with relevant mitigations. For the latest information, please see the Scottish Government’s website.

Teachers should ensure that their studios and activities are risk-assessed and Covid-secure. Refer to the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 guidance on safer workplaces for further advice that is applicable to teaching from homes or any other setting.

Teaching in Wales

Most restrictions have eased but self-isolation rules remain in place. Face coverings for anybody over the age of 11 are mandatory in retail, public transport and health and care settings only (exemptions apply). Regular lateral flow testing twice a week is still recommended, including for teachers and pupils.

Schools

Instrumental lessons and groups can take place in schools, subject to Welsh Government schools guidance. Face coverings are no longer required in classrooms but should be worn by staff visitors and secondary pupils in communal areas and where physical distance cannot be maintained.

If you teach in a school, request a copy of the setting’s or your employer’s risk assessment, and discuss any concerns with your employer. If you are self-employed you should create your own risk assessment, which you may need to use alongside the setting’s risk assessment.

Private teaching

Music lessons are permitted in workplaces or business spaces following the relevant guidance (see below) and subject to risk assessments and necessary measures. They are also permitted in private homes, similarly managed.

The Welsh Government schools guidance says that ‘Under the current measures, face-to-face tutoring is allowed to take place in your own home or someone else’s home, with mitigations. We would expect a risk assessment to be undertaken and measures to protect to be in place such as face coverings, ventilation and social distancing.’

Teaching in Northern Ireland

Self-isolation and contact tracing remain in place, and you should follow Northern Ireland Government guidance. The rules may differ according to vaccination status or age.

Schools

Updated guidance for schools states that face coverings remain strongly recommended for post-primary pupils at all times when inside school buildings, including classrooms, corridors and confined communal spaces such as toilet areas. This is likely to be reviewed later in March.

Tuition on all instruments and singing is permitted in schools. The EA Music Service’s “Music Unlocked” guidance contains more detailed information on how music lessons should be managed.

If you teach in a school, request a copy of the setting’s or your employer’s risk assessment, and discuss any concerns with your employer. If you are self-employed you should create your own risk assessment, which you may need to use alongside the setting’s risk assessment.

Private teaching

In-person music lessons and private tutoring continue to be permitted in Northern Ireland. Members should ensure that private teaching takes place with appropriate Covid-secure measures and risk assessments in place.

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