Health and safety guidance for private music teachers
Please see our COVID-19: Private teaching page for the latest guidance on COVID-19 restrictions in relation to private music teaching.
If you intend to resume face-to-face music tuition with your students, you will need to make sure that you have taken all necessary steps to minimise risks to yourself and your students, including completing a COVID-19 risk assessment. In this article we give you some guidance on the issues you need to consider.
COVID-19 risk assessment
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is the UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has its own Health & Safety Executive.
We have based the information in this article on the UK HSE COVID-19 guidance and risk assessment guidance and template. If you are an ISM member you can access a sample risk assessment for a music teacher, that can be adapted for different circumstances.
1. Key principles
The aim of your risk assessment is to protect people (including yourself, and anyone living in your household if you teach at home) from harm if they are receiving music tuition from you and in particular to eliminate or minimise risks of COVID-19 transmission.
You must do the following in your risk assessment:
You should document all this in writing. You can adapt the HSE template to suit your circumstances.
You should also create a procedure checklist to mitigate the risks of contamination before, between and after face-to-face lessons.
It is also worth reminding your students that if you both agree they can receive face-to-face lessons, they accept that such tuition will never be entirely free of risk of contracting COVID-19 but that you have made all efforts to assess risks accurately and to take steps to minimise risks where identified.
The latest government guidance on COVID-19 must always inform your assessment. Guidance is produced by the UK government (for England) and also by the devolved governments. See section 4 of this page for links.
2. Some practical considerations when assessing risk and how to reduce it
Things to think about include your student’s health, whether there are other people living with them who could be at risk, how they travel to the lessons, what happens when they arrive and depart, how you manage social distancing and keeping your teaching space clean and safe.
You also need to consider government guidance on different types of musical activity and whether or not you are permitted yet to give face-to-face lessons in that activity.
You should also think about yourself and your own situation.
You and your circumstances
Managing arrival and departure at lessons
Your teaching space
Keeping your space clean
Musical activities and risk
3. Do I need a risk assessment for each household I teach in?
In principle, the answer is yes, as it is your responsibility to provide your lessons safely and protect the health and safety of yourself and your clients.
Where the core of your activities stays the same, you can include the same risk assessment activities and connected protective measures from household to household. So for example, there will be measures that you are expected to put in place in each environment you teach at, ie handwashing, cleaning instruments, social distancing.
However, there may be some additions to a risk assessment you will need to add in based on location, individual teaching environments or specific circumstances of your clients. For example, you may need to consider the route you enter a building, whether there is any vulnerable members of that household or ventilation of the room you work in – and this will require an additional assessment.
We are advised by the brokers for our members’ Public Liability Insurance that cover will operate provided members follow government guidelines.