Home > Music > Guidance about ArtForms Music Provision in September; we welcome your thoughts too!

Guidance about ArtForms Music Provision in September; we welcome your thoughts too!

We hope everything is going as well as possible at Leeds schools, academies and other educational sites as we come towards the end of what has been an incredibly long and challenging term.

ArtForms would like to share with you a follow up to the DfE Guidance that was published earlier this month about the full reopening of schools to highlight what this means for music teaching, and in particular visiting music teachers. We understand that the DfE is working with Public Health England on more detailed guidance for music, dance and drama in schools. This will also apply from September 2020 and should be issued soon. In the meantime, Music Mark have published an article summarising the DfE’s latest Guidance on teaching music in schools, which is worth reading.

The key points from the guidance are:

  • There is a commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum from September, and no suggestion in the guidance that schools should not provide all subjects. This applies to all key stages up to KS3.
  • Peripatetic music teachers will be allowed back in schools from September and can move between schools – and this would be our preferred model for many reasons. However, we recognise that this will need to be responsive to the particular situation in individual schools. All visiting staff will be expected to comply with the school’s arrangements for managing and minimising risk, including taking particular care to maintain distance from other staff and pupils. We do anticipate that our offer to some schools, as outlined in our amended SLA document, may need to be a blended model of face to face and on-line provision – at least for the first part of the autumn term.
  • There is a specific statement about safely delivering music in the section about the curriculum (originally incorrectly placed just in the KS4 section and subsequently amended to apply to all stages). It states:
    “Schools should note that there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where you or others are singing, chanting, playing wind or brass instruments or shouting. This applies even if individuals are at a distance. Schools should consider how to reduce the risk, particularly when pupils are playing instruments or singing in small groups such as in music lessons by, for example, physical distancing and playing outside wherever possible, limiting group sizes to no more than 15, positioning pupils back-to-back or side-to-side, avoiding sharing of instruments, and ensuring good ventilation. Singing, wind and brass playing should not take place in larger groups such as school choirs and ensembles, or school assemblies. Further more detailed DfE guidance will be published shortly.”  We would work closely with you to ensure that any musical activities adhered to this guidance (and, in due course, the more detailed guidance referred to above)
  • The guidance encourages schools to consider resuming various types of extra-curricular provision from the start of the term but recognises that this may need to build up over time. Where our staff are involved in these at your school, we will work with you to agree an appropriate way forward.
  • The guidance makes much reference to the need for class/year group ‘bubbles’ which will also have implications for much of our work with you. We will need to consider carefully grouping arrangements for small group vocal and instrumental teaching, and indeed some extra-curricular provision, to make sure these comply with this.
  • In all the above there is a clear message that re-engaging with a range of music-related activities will be a key element in contributing to the well-being of all children and young people in our schools

Many thanks to all those schools who have already confirmed their SLAs with us for the next academic year – a large majority now which is very encouraging. Thanks too to those schools who have also been in touch about the practicalities of the SLA offer for your school. Our aim is to start as much provision as possible by the 2nd week of the autumn term – 14th September onwards. It would therefore be helpful to us if you could contact us as soon as possible with your thoughts about how things will best work at your school, in relation to the information given above.


Please confirm the method of delivery (in school / online via Google Classroom / pre-recorded video) for each element of your purchased SLA:

  • Whole Class Instrumental/vocal lessons
  • Small group Instrumental/vocal lessons
  • 1-1 Instrumental/vocal lessons
  • National curriculum provision
  • SEND provision
  • Ensemble/choir leading
  • accompanying pianist provision

For schools who choose to have small group instrumental / vocal lessons delivered online via Google Classrooms – we will need you to provide us your list of students (first name and surname) and the group in which they will have their lesson, eg Child A, Beginner flute. You will also need to nominate one teacher email address to use as the first point of contact to enable us to set up the student accounts.

Just to add an additional point about the scheduling of on-line tuition (where this is applicable); due to the larger numbers of students potentially accessing this in September and the limited availability of many of our staff beyond the end of the school day (due to a range of existing teaching commitments in Leeds schools and elsewhere), it will not be possible to move all individual and small group provision to after school slots. However, we will of course do all we can to facilitate a situation where as many children can benefit from these lessons as possible and will discuss this with you as needed.

We hope this information is useful at this stage.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or need more details on any of the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via educ.artforms@leeds.gov.uk