skip to main content

The Musicians’ Union is committed to upholding the highest standards of safeguarding, child protection and protection of vulnerable adults. Our Safeguarding Policy seeks to clarify where safeguarding overlaps with the MU’s work, setting out our roles and limitations in this area.

Our Safeguarding Code of Conduct describes expected behaviours for MU members working in music education, whether in instrumental or vocal teaching, outreach, workshop leading, ensemble coaching or any other related activity. It also applies to members working with children and vulnerable adults in other capacities, e.g. working on a theatre production that involves child actors.

Our Safeguarding Statement is provided for self-employed members. It links to our Code of Conduct and is a simple way to provide a written commitment to safeguarding for schools, parents and other engagers.

Our DBS guidance explains the requirements for DBS checks and equivalent checks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also explains how MU members can obtain an enhanced DBS check through the MU.

Child Protection in Education (Music) is a bespoke online course developed by Educare in partnership with the MU. The course costs £24, excluding VAT. It covers:

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

You can watch a series of advice videos created as part of this online course on YouTube.

The MU provides in-person or online safeguarding training on request and subject to availability. This is delivered by MU officials who are not safeguarding professionals but who seek to place safeguarding principles within a music education context. We have delivered safeguarding training to Music Hubs, schools, student groups and performing organisations. Contact for more information.

The MU also provides advice on safeguarding when teaching instrumental and vocal lessons online, and advice on what to do if you are subject to a safeguarding allegation.

Members can contact the MU to discuss any aspect of safeguarding. Please note that the MU is not a crisis service for safeguarding emergencies. If in doubt, contact the NSPCC or the police. The MU can advise members on less urgent safeguarding issues, which may involve referral to an appropriate organisation.

Supplementary information

Advice, help and support on safeguarding children

The NSPCC has a free 24-hour helpline if you are worried about a child: 0808 800 5000 or It also has a comprehensive information hub on child abuse, including:

  • Types of abuse
  • Spotting abuse
  • Effects of abuse
  • Children’s stories
  • Reporting child abuse and neglect
  • Support for parents

The NSPCC also has a wide-ranging general advice hub that includes information on children’s mental health and keeping safe online.

NSPCC Learning provides information on grooming which includes:

  • Signs of grooming
  • How it happens
  • Speaking out
  • Children at risk
  • Prevention
  • References and resources

NSPCC Learning also provides summaries of the child protection frameworks and legislation in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as information on the history of child protection in the UK.

Advice on safeguarding vulnerable adults

Member services

Latest education news

Close up of two people sat with acoustic guitars representing music lessons.

MU Welcomes Labour Party Music Education Pledge

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has pledged to make the arts accessible to every child in Britain and to reverse a Conservative education policy that has decimated the uptake of arts subjects in state schools.

Published: 12 March 2024

Read more about MU Welcomes Labour Party Music Education Pledge

Contact the Musicians' Union today

The MU has a network of experienced teams available to help musicians in all areas of the industry. If you have any questions about our services, membership or how the MU could help you, please don't hesitate to get in touch.