Private teachers: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

We outline some of the key issues in this article, but please note that this for information only and not a substitute for legal advice in relation to individual particular circumstances.

On Monday 11 May, the Government started to take small steps to ease the UK's lockdown. The ISM interpretation of these changes is that private teachers should not go to other homes to teach.

To avoid cancelling lessons, consider offering online teaching through the use of video calls on FaceTime or Skype for example. Reliability will be important so remember to test the connection before embarking on giving lessons this way to ensure it is robust enough for your needs.

We have produced the following guidance on online teaching:

If the pupil is ill, check the terms of the contract around missed lessons. If you are using the ISM template contract for private music tuition, you are entitled to charge for the lesson if less than 48 hours notice is given to you. But there is provision in the contract for you to exercise discretion in exceptional circumstances. These are not defined, which leaves you open to judge the most appropriate course of action. The same 48 hours notice (and discretionary option) applies if pupils wish to cancel online lessons for any reason.

Teachers using the ISM template contract who wish to cancel lessons will need to offer an alternative date or refund the lesson.

We have produced financial advice for self-employed musicians affected by COVID-19. This offers guidance on how to access benefits if you can’t work because you are sick or self-isolating, or if your income has dropped, as well as tax measures to support the self-employed.

Updated 13 May 2020

We are able to offer more specific advice to ISM members. If you need urgent legal support, please contact us at [email protected].

To help our team with your enquiry, please attach as much supporting evidence as possible to your email. ISM members who do not use the ISM template contract should send a copy of the contract they have in place to our legal team for them to review.

Members should note that although we are prioritising cases with concerns relating to the coronavirus crisis, we have a high number of queries to process. Thank you for your patience at this time.