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Guidance for schools

Updated guidance and advice about music provision during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are committed to ensuring that music provision in and out of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic is done so safely and in accordance to all government guidance. We will update this page with the latest procedures, advice and guidance about the provision that happens in schools.

If you have any questions or need any further guidance, please email the Music Partnership.

On this page...

Wider Opportunities
Whole-class music lessons delivered in school

Instrumental lessons in school
Individual or small group lessons taking place in school time

Singing in school
How to continue singing in school safely and within official guidance

School-based ensembles
Groups and ensembles based in schools

Wider Opportunities

Updated 11 January 2021

  • For the current Lockdown period, our Wider Opportunities teams have reverted to online delivery, providing content that can be used in class and shared with pupils at home

Updated 5 November 2020

  • Guidance for the full opening of schools did not change for music with the introduction of further national restrictions
  • Music, dance and drama can be undertaken in school so long as safety precautions are undertaken. (Arts Council England)
  • Schools can therefore continue to engage peripatetic teachers, including staff from Hubs and the guidance highlights that ‘all pupils should have access to a quality arts education’. (Arts Council England)

Updated 1 October 2020

  • Our Wider Opportunities programmes have been taking place in schools since September and are now well established across the City and County.

Updated 28 August 2020

  • Wider Opportunities programmes will only take place in schools with recommended control measures in place after an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

  • Our workforce has received CPD on these measures, will adhere to school safety routines and follow Test and Trace procedures to ensure risk is minimised at all times


Instrumental lessons in schools

Updated 11 January 2021

  • For the current Lockdown period instrumental teaching has reverted to online delivery. DfE guidance only permits visiting music teachers to teach pupils face-to-face who are attending schools.

Updated 5 November 2020

  • Guidance for the full opening of schools did not change for music with the introduction of further national restrictions
  • Music, dance and drama can be undertaken in school so long as safety precautions are undertaken. (Arts Council England)
  • Schools can therefore continue to engage peripatetic teachers, including staff from Hubs and the guidance highlights that ‘all pupils should have access to a quality arts education’. (Arts Council England)

Updated 28 August 2020

  • DfE guidance allows for visiting teachers in schools and they can teach multiple schools across bubbles with appropriate safety mitigations in place
  • There is a risk of cumulative build up of aerosols, however good ventilation in teaching rooms will be an appropriate safety precaution to mitigate risk
  • Teaching on any and all instruments is encouraged

Singing in schools

Updated 11 January 2021

  • For the current Lockdown period our singing projects have reverted to online delivery. DfE guidance only permits visiting music teachers to teach pupils face-to-face who are attending schools.

Updated 28 August 2020

  • For most singing activity, including class work and assemblies, normal school measures will suffice, but we suggest:
    – keeping volume and length of activity below normal
    – singing should happen in bubbles only
    – singers should be distanced

  • Whilst singing releases potentially hazardous bio-aerosols, studies suggest this is similar to the amount released when speaking, and increases the louder the volume.

  • Measurements taken with university-level students and professionals suggest that there is minimal air movement much over 0.5m from a singer. Teachers or singing leaders should stay at least 2m from any singers.


School-based ensembles

Updated 11 January 2021

  • School-based ensembles are unlikely to be able to continue during the current Lockdown period because of the limited number of pupils attending schools. Out of School Settings (e.g. music centres) remain closed.

Updated 5 November 2020

  • It is not completely clear from the new guidance but it widely understood that school-based can continue on the same basis as before half-term.
  • Extra curricular musical activity such as at music centres and county-level ensembles has had to pause for the duration of the November lockdown.

Updated 28 August 2020

  • Choirs and ensembles within schools are able to restart but outside school activities are subject to the Out of School Settings (OOSS) guidelines, so are limited to 15 in a group, regardless of the mix of instruments or voices.

    The OOSS guidelines stipulate 2m social distancing (at minimum) and good ventilation. 


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CPD for KS1 and 2 teachers and teaching assistants A modular CPD course designed to build the confidence of non-specialist teachers to deliver the National Curriculum for Music