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

DBS Checks

MU members in England and Wales can apply for an Enhanced DBS Check, simplifying and speeding up the process.

Read more about DBS Checks

Public Liability Insurance

We work with Hencilla Canworth to provide MU members with comprehensive cover. Public liability insurance is essential for musicians who perform in public spaces.

Read more about Public Liability Insurance

Latest education news

Multicoloured ropes connected to one another in a circle, representing diverse collaboration.

Disability History Month: Exploring the AutismAble and Future Collaborations Project

In this blog Andrew Forster discusses the Future Collaborations Project, an accessible music outreach program for people aged 14-25, promoting neurodivergent and neurotypical collaborations within the music industry. We also hear from one of the project’s participants and a Learning Mentor.

Published: 20 November 2023

Read more about Disability History Month: Exploring the AutismAble and Future Collaborations Project

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.