A return to face to face teaching in the new COVID world: help and guidelines

Bulletin No 1
6th July 2020

European String Teacher’s Association (UK Branch) understands the magnitude of the current and ongoing situation for its members working in the state and private sector. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on all aspects of our lives, be it health, education, financial security or mental well-being.  There are signs of a possible return to normal life in the near future, however the need for caution and careful planning has never been more important.

The return to face to face teaching is in our estimation some way off yet. The advice as to when and how this should be requires clear guidance. If you work for a music service, local authority or school then it is important to carefully adhere to the guidance and instructions issued by that organisation.

If you teach privately and/or are planning in future to return to face to face teaching, it is imperative that you follow the government guidelines and undertake a risk assessment.  This is vital for the safety and well-being of all parties and for your ESTA public liability cover to be valid.

In Brief:

  1. What is Government advice?
  • The latest guidance for private teachers from the government can be found here. One to one and group teaching. Please be aware that this advice and guidance may change. We strongly advise members to regularly visit the government site for updates. 
  1. ESTA’s recommendations
  • At the time of writing ESTA believes that return to face to face teaching is too early.
  • Schools may take individual positions on the return dates, but ESTA is sensitive to the need not to give blanket advice – the Leicester return to lockdown highlights the impossibility of such advice.
  • Looking forward – ESTA members should prepare a risk assessment for teaching at home/students’ home
  1. Am I insured?
  • If a member is sued by a student alleging that their negligent actions caused them to catch Covid-19 then cover would apply unless the member was deliberately and wilfully flouting any relevant legislation. (Hencilla Canworth – 19th June 2020)

ESTA will continue to monitor and advise on the situation. In the meantime, we are collecting some sample risk assessment forms for private teaching to help you formulate your own risk assessment, tailored to your personal circumstances, be it in your own home, pupils’ home or other establishment.