To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to schools to ensure that their risk assessments do not result in reduced access to music and equipment.
22 October 2020
The call for evidence on music education was launched on 9 February and closed on 13 March, the findings from which will inform the refreshed National Plan for Music Education. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.
The Government has been clear in its intention to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils get a high-quality education. Schools should undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment by following the advice set out in the Department’s guidance for full opening of schools. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools. There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place. The guidance also includes advice on how schools can teach music safely, including on musical equipment. Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts.
The guidance is also clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stages 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A-level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.