skip to main content

Safeguarding and Child Protection in Education

Child protection is an area that every music teacher needs to know about.

Last updated: 30 April 2021

Here you can find information about:

Best practice behaviour to safeguard teachers

The following safeguarding advice is to help protect you in your teaching and gives examples of best practice behaviour.

  • Any physical contact with pupils can be potentially subject to misinterpretation or even malicious allegations. The best advice is to avoid touching your pupils and to develop strategies for teaching through demonstration and modelling.
  • Keep all communication with pupils on a professional level. Beware of exchanging personal contact details and sharing information on social networking websites.
  • Be aware of the language that you use when teaching. Swearing, making disparaging or insensitive remarks, the use of suggestive language and terms of endearment are inappropriate in a teaching environment.
  • If you have any concerns about a child or if a pupil shares any information with you regarding bullying, abuse, personal problems, or you suspect such issues, you should report this to the school, parent/guardian or relevant authority at your earliest opportunity. Do not try to resolve the problem yourself.
  • If you feel that your professional or personal safety is at risk, inform a member of school staff.
  • All teachers should have access to a school’s policy documents regarding child protection, Special Educational Needs teaching and dealing with difficult pupils.

Approach your teaching as a professional and remember that you are the responsible adult. If an incident happens in a lesson, immediately report it to the school or the parent/guardian. If any allegation is made against you, contact your Regional Office straight away for advice and support.

Training in safeguarding children

The MU recommends that musicians who teach are up-to-date with the legislation regarding safeguarding children and pupils.

MU members can access Child Protection in Education (Music), a bespoke online course developed by Educare.

It provides musicians with a better understanding of their responsibilities and how they can avoid situations which could lead to accusations of misconduct. There is a small cost to the course, which covers:

  • Child development
  • Forms of child abuse
  • Recognising child abuse
  • Reporting abuse and the child protection system
  • Good practice

Read more detailed information about this course and sign up.

A series of advice videos created as part of this online course can be viewed on YouTube.

Safeguarding requirements

Our Code of Practice is guiding you through what you need to be able to do and the core principles music teachers and Union members should uphold.

Need to talk to us?

Contact your Regional office

Latest education news

Photograph of the sun setting through the windows of an empty classroom.

MU Expresses Horror at Proposed Halving of Funding for Music at HE in England

The Government has announced that it plans to impose a 50 percent funding cut to “high cost” subjects at higher education (HE) in England, including music. This is because music and the arts are not among its “strategic priorities”. Members are encouraged to respond to their consultation.

Read more about MU Expresses Horror at Proposed Halving of Funding for Music at HE in England