INSTRUMENTAL AND SINGING LESSONS

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, EMS has implemented measures to support online music lessons using council-owned-and-monitored tablets and an approved delivery platform (Zoom) in the event of future school closures. Staff have received training in this area and several have already started to teach in this new way with positive feedback from pupils, parents and schools. We have also published the comprehensive COVID-19 Appendix to our Service Level Agreement shown below and circulated to schools on multiple occasions.

In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 4th January in which he directed people to only leave their homes for work if they cannot work from home – and in conjunction with DfE’s latest update Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools – Ealing Council has instructed EMS to deliver lessons online and hereby requests schools to work with the EMS management to enable children to continue to access high-quality music education from home or on-site. For CW and vulnerable children, lessons may be delivered on-site as long as this does not affect EMS teachers’ ability to teach children who are unable to attend school, as per their confirmed schedules.

We fully appreciate that this will entail additional effort and would like to thank all school-based colleagues in this endeavour.

Yogesh Dattani
Head of Ealing Music Service
8 January 2021

SLA APPENDIX FOR COVID-19

APPENDIX FOR THE DELIVERY OF INSTRUMENTAL & SINGING LESSONS UNDER COVID-19

This document summarises the approach to negotiate disruptions to instrumental and singing lessons during the COVID19 Pandemic, to ensure continuity of education and protect EMS and School budgets.

Ealing Music Service has SLA agreements with more than 70 schools, and like schools will have to pay their staff throughout the pandemic, no matter how the levels of delivery are affected. Accordingly, Ealing Music Service (EMS) will continue to charge for provision unless Government funding can be secured.

EMS has taken steps to ensure continuity of service and safeguard schools’ budgets, including:

  • Temporarily relaxing the terms and conditions of our Service Level Agreement for instrumental and singing tuition and allowed changes to be made for the current academic year up until the point of delivery.
  • Extending the deadline for change of provision (for the spring term) from the usual half term notice period to the 20th November.
  • Supporting school ensembles to return to playing together, following the latest national guidance.
  • Supplying all EMS teachers with iPads and Zoom education licences so provision can continue online when needed.
  • Providing a council agreed Online Safeguarding Policy, based on national recommendations.
  • Providing risk assessments which are constantly monitored in line with the latest government guidance with clarity from Music Mark to ensure face to face lessons can continue to be offered in schools.

Schools can reduce their financial risk by:

  • Ensuring school contracts with parents are in line with the Ealing Music Service SLA and including a caveat that online lessons will be offered to replace face to face lessons in the event of a bubble or full school closure.
  • Ensuring EMS teachers are given access to school WIFI.
  • Ensure any changes with regards to regular delivery is communicated to EMS teachers as quickly as possible.

Possible Consequences

  • Impact on delivery of Spark! lessons of 30 per year (whole class instrumental lessons).

What EMS can do to help

Provide activities and pre-recorded content for pupils to follow at home either through Charanga or the EMS website.

  • Pupils have individual accounts Charanga, a dedicated online education platform, so very secure.
  • Pupils DO NOT have individual accounts on the EMS website. Pre-recorded teaching materials are published to website pages secured by way of a ‘secret’ network address and do not identify individual pupils.

Tasks for schools

  • To access Charanga, forward to parents their child’s Charanga account details (username and password).
  • To access content on the EMS website, forward to parents the web-page address for the relevant content.

Possible Consequences

  • Impact on delivery of 30 small group instrumental lessons during the year.
  • Pressure on funding for small group instrumental lessons (EMS teachers will need to be paid).

What EMS can do to help

  • EMS teachers can deliver interactive remote lessons via Zoom on the same day and time as the lessons usually take place in school to children who are able to access these from home.

  • EMS has published Council and Safeguarding approved guidelines to send out to parents, and made Zoom Education licenses available for EMS teachers for use with EMS owned and managed iPads.

Tasks for schools

  • Send Zoom guidelines on safeguarding and data protection to parents of all instrumental pupils. Failure to do this before the closure means that EMS will be unable to fulfil their responsibility to deliver lessons.
  • Missed lessons due to a lag in communications between school and parents, and between parents and EMS will not be refunded by EMS.

Possible Consequences

  • Children may miss lessons.

What EMS can do to help

  • Provide access to online lessons and activities (Spark!) and online Zoom lessons (Small Group Tuition) as described in School Closure.

Tasks for schools

  • Provide EMS teachers with teaching space and access to the public internet via the school Wi-Fi network.
  • Provide classes/year groups doing Spark! with Charanga logins and passwords.
  • Positively promote Charanga to parents as a valuable and secure facility.
  • Missed lessons due to a lag in communications between school and parents and between parents and EMS will not be refunded by EMS.

Possible Consequences

  • Children miss lessons.
  • Parents may seek refund.

What EMS can do to help

  • These will be treated like any other absence as a result of sickness and cannot be made up or refunded. If the pupil has individual lessons, it MAY be possible to move the lesson online with sufficient notice from the school.

Tasks for schools

  • Ensure parents are aware that lessons missed due to illness are chargeable.

Possible Consequences

  • EMS failure to deliver 30 lessons.

What EMS can do to help

  • Where an EMS teacher is self-isolating but otherwise well they will endeavour to deliver lessons remotely following the School Closure protocol described above, either during the school day where possible, or outside the school day subject to EMS teacher circumstances and availability.

Tasks for schools

  • Liaise with EMS admin and teachers to facilitate scheduling of online remote lessons and/or rescheduling of lessons as appropriate.
  • Missed lessons due to a lag in communications between school and parents and between parents and EMS will not be refunded by EMS.

Possible Consequences

  • EMS failure to deliver 30 lessons.

What EMS can do to help

  • Liaise with the school to reschedule lessons.
  • EMS will supply a substitute EMS teacher to cover the lesson(s), subject to staff availability.

Tasks for schools

  • EMS will adjust school invoice or issue refunds as appropriate if less than 30 lessons are delivered over the year.

Possible Consequences

  • Parents ask schools for refund.

What EMS can do to help

  • Provide activities and pre-recorded content for pupils to follow at home either through Charanga or the EMS website.
  • Adjust scheduling to meet parent needs, subject to EMS teacher availability.

Tasks for schools

  • Liaise with parent and EMS teacher to find an appropriate solution.
  • Where no routes to provide lessons are available, liaise with EMS and parents to agree a compromise solution on a case-by-case basis.

Possible Consequences

EMS Teachers cannot:

  • Access Charanga for teaching purposes.
  • Deliver Zoom lessons from school.
  • Maintain class registers.

What EMS can do to help

  • Liaise with school office or Music lead in school to find an appropriate solution.

Tasks for schools

  • Make provision for EMS teachers using EMS owned and managed iPads to access the public internet via the school Wi-Fi network.
  • Missed lessons due to problems accessing the school internet service will not be refunded.

To access a PDF version of this information, CLICK HERE.