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Harlow MP Robert Halfon asks question on music lessons

News / Sun 29th Nov 2020 at 10:26am

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon rose on the floor of the House of Commons to ask a question on music lessons.

Mr Halfon said: “To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the evidence base if for the decision to allow face-to-face private music lessons in students’ homes, if there is no other viable option, or in school settings, outside of the school day, but not to allow face-to-face private music lessons in music teachers’ homes during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Minister of State for Education, Nick Gibb said:

“Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to tackle the outbreak. Data and scientific advice informing the fight against COVID-19 are published on GOV.UK and specific relevant findings are shared in presentations accompanying significant policy announcements.

As outlined in the guidance for education and childcare settings on new national restrictions from 5 November, music lessons in music teachers’ homes are permitted during the national restrictions but only if online lessons are not reasonably possible. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020#ooss.

Music teachers who are operating out of their own homes or private studios, should ensure they are only being accessed for face to face provision by parents if their primary purpose is registered childcare, or where they are providing other activities for children, where it is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work or search for work, or to undertake training or education, or for the purposes of respite care.

Out of school activities, including private tuition, that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education may also continue to operate for face to face provision for the duration of the national restrictions.

Tutors that continue to operate face to face provision during this period should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in the protective measures for holiday clubs and after-school clubs and other out-of-school clubs for children during the COVID-19 outbreak guidance, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Providers operating out of other people’s homes should also implement the guidance on working safely in other people’s homes, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

“All other out of school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes and that can offer remote education, should close for face to face provision for the duration of the national restrictions. This will minimise the amount of mixing between different groups of people and therefore reduce the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19”.

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