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Julie

Julie is an experienced Primary school teacher but she had always found it daunting to deliver the music element of the National Curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2. Since the implementation of the National Music Plan for Music, Julie has found that the personal support and resources available to her have increased dramatically.

The most significant development was that all her class had the opportunity to learn an instrument for the whole year with two specialist music teachers arranged through the local Hub. Julie’s Head teacher encouraged her to get involved with the teachers and time was set aside for her to meet and plan how they would work together. Julie was able to tell the teachers useful things about the children in her class – for example, those who lacked confidence but enjoyed working in a group. Once the sessions began, Julie was amazed to see how quickly the children learned.

‘The specialist music teachers told me about a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme run by Music for Youth, the MU and the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The programme showed me so many ways to work with my class in a fun and easy way. There are some great online resources and my confidence has grown so much.

‘I was amazed at how the music teaching helped the children in other areas of their learning. I am now the Music Co-ordinator in our school and the whole school is now getting involved in music making.’

Posted In  The hub experience: case studies

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Anton

Anton is an 11-year-old drummer. He started just over two years ago after his school hosted a one day Samba workshop that was arranged through the local Hub. After the workshop, he started playing percussion in his full class band. He was so happy to get a drum kit for Christmas as he can now practise all the time.

‘I can play so many different types of music and in class we still learn the theory stuff so I can also read the notes, but I can also listen and repeat or respond to the music.’

Outside school, Anton plays with some of his older friends in his local youth club pop band; next month, they are going to play at the Youth Club Disco and in July, they will be performing in the Music For Youth National Festival in Birmingham.

When he is older, he hopes to play in a band in pubs and restaurants and make some money. As a student, he will be able to join the MU for £20 and as a member he will benefit from £10 million Public Liability Insurance cover and access to legal and contract advice.

Posted In  The hub experience: case studies

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Josip

Josip is a peripatetic brass teacher. He has recently graduated from university and has been thrown in at the deep end having received very little training in instrumental teaching whilst studying. He is teaching a broad mix of students in one-to-one, small group and full classroom settings across all brass instruments as well as helping out with the school band.

His local hub has an extensive partnership base drawing together a broad range of formal and informal music education providers and with strong links to both primary and secondary schools in the area.

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Regular CPD programmes are arranged through the local Hub, focussing on many aspects of educational and instrumental pedagogy and music education theory drawing on all the available expertise.

An effective mentoring/buddying programme has also been arranged through the Hub, which matched Josip with an experienced teacher for his first year, providing solid academic and practical advice.

His joint Musicians’ Union (MU) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) membership helped him access advice and guidance from both organisations.

‘The new Hub has allowed me to engage with exceptional professional development and mentoring at the highest level, providing me with the opportunity to develop my skills to become a more effective teacher and learner. I look forward to the introduction of the new Music Educator Qualification being developed by Creative and Cultural Skills and Arts Council England.’

Posted In  The hub experience: case studies

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There is no specific legislation covering this particular issue so no legal definition exists as to exactly what types of behaviour can be constituted as bullying.

However, the accepted definition, as adopted by the TUC, is: ‘persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, abuse of power or unfair penal sanctions, which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which may cause them to suffer stress.’ Despite the absence of specific legislation, there are laws which may be applicable depending on the circumstances of the individual making a complaint:

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 section 2(1)

This places a responsibility upon every employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees.

Section three of the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1992

Every employer has a legal responsibility to make a suitable sufficient assessment of the risk to the health, safety, and welfare of employees in order that preventative and protective measures can be taken.

Safety representatives

In Regulation 4A of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977, employers have a legal duty to consult with Union Safety Representatives concerning Health & Safety matters.

Employment law

Duty to prevent unlawful discrimination. This covers bullying, which may be defined as discrimination where it is based on gender, race or disability.

Constructive dismissal

Employers have a general duty of care under civil law. If bullying leads to a fundamental breach of the employment contract, an employee may be able to pursue a claim of constructive dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996, provided that they have worked with the same employer for at least one year.

Workplace policy on bullying

This should include:

  • A statement that bullying will not be tolerated and will be treated as a disciplinary offence
  • A commitment that complaints of bullying will be taken seriously and dealt with quickly
  • All elements of the procedure to be conducted in confidence
  • A timetabled complaints procedure
  • Provision of confidential counseling for both the bullied and the bully
  • The policy should include regular monitoring to assess whether it is actually achieving its intended aims and objectives. Training for management and Health & Safety Representatives

More information can be found at bullyonline.org.

Posted In  Health & safety

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Introduction

This is a short guide to your legal rights depending on your employment status.


Employees

An employee has the legal right to:

  • A Written Statement – this must be provided within two months of beginning the employment
  • Maternity/Paternal Leave and Pay, Adoption Leave and Pay and Paternity Leave and Pay, Antenatal care
  • Time off to care for dependants
  • Request time off to undertake study or training is introduced for employees working in companies who have an average of 250+ employees
  • Protection against unfair dismissal
  • A fair disciplinary and dismissal policy
  • Grievance procedure at work
  • Statutory Redundancy Pay
  • Time off for public duties e.g. magistrate duties; for Trade Union activities
  • A Stakeholder pension (if the employer has more than 5 employees)
  • An itemised pay statement

plus those rights that a Worker has below.

As of 1 October 2011, agency workers in Great Britain have the right to ‘equal treatment’ in certain areas of their employment. It will give certain ‘Agency workers’ rights to equal treatment for pay, working hours, night work, rest breaks, paid holidays; paid time off for ante-natal appointments; the right to apply for internal vacancies and access internal facilities; and give them limited unfair dismissal rights in relation to the Regulations.

NB: Often employers will give benefits/terms to employees that are more generous than the legal minimum entitlements.


Workers

A worker is entitled to core employment rights including the right to:

  • Receive the National Minimum Wage
  • Protection against unlawful deduction from wages
  • A minimum period of paid holiday (annual leave) under the Working Time Directive
  • Minimum length of rest breaks under the Working Time Directive
  • Not work more than 48 hours on average per week or to opt out of this right if you choose
  • Protection against unlawful discrimination (including less favourable treatment on the grounds of part-time status)
  • Protection for ‘whistleblowing’ (reporting wrongdoing in the workplace)
  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity or Adoption Pay (NB – not leave)
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Not be discriminated against unlawfully on grounds or race, sex, marriage/civil partnerships, maternity/pregnancy, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief and to receive equal pay (with members of the opposite sex if you can show they are doing similar work of equal value)
  • Protection against discrimination for membership or non-membership of a Trade Union

Self-employed (freelancer)

They will not be entitled to:

  • company’s sick leave, company maternity pay or company pension provisions
  • the legal right to protection under internal disciplinary and grievance schemes
  • the legal right not be dismissed (however, the contract of service should contain clauses relating to termination of the agreement and time-periods)
  • statutory rights such as unfair dismissal and redundancy pay

There is, however, legal protection so:

  • they should not be discriminated against in the workplace and, if they are, they could make a claim to an Employment Tribunal. This protection only applies to freelancers who fall under Part 5 of the Equality Act 2010 – that is those who are described as ‘contract workers’ and are contracted personally to do the work i.e. they cannot claim discrimination against the employer if they are contracted for the provision of services and hire someone else, or sub-contract someone else, to do the work – they must do the work themselves
  • they are entitled to a Safe and Healthy working environment (as above)
  • they should be paid for the work that they have done.

Posted In  Employment status

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Summary

  • What contract is best for the teacher?
  • New rules as of April 2012: Class 1 National Insurance
  • Changes to workplace pensions law

What contract is best for the teacher?

This will depend on their circumstance and objectives. Self-employed contracts provide flexibility and may have tax advantages. Employment contracts provide important statutory rights and there will be an implied term of mutual trust and confidence.


 New rules as of April 2012: Class 1 National Insurance

The social security regulations in relation to tutors/lecturers in institutions have changed in respect to those that teach traditional curriculum subjects with effect from 6 April 2012 (i.e. from the current tax year 2012/13 onwards).Prior to this date, if an individual acted as a tutor teaching music in an educational institution, then the social security regulations from 1978 stated that Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NIC) were due if the individual in question was engaged to lecture for three days or more in any three consecutive months, regardless of their employment/self-employment status. These regulations have now been repealed and each case is to be considered on its own facts to determine whether an individual may be classed as self-employed, regardless of the number of days they are engaged in any period.Individuals will need to consider their circumstances before being confident that they are self-employed and the usual factors (as previously mentioned) will need to be considered to determine the status.

More information


Changes to workplace pensions law

Workplace pensions law has changed. Every employer now has new legal duties to help their workers in the UK save for retirement.

More information

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/automatic-enrolment.aspx

Posted In  Employment status

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About this guide

Below is a brief guide to being an employee, a worker or self-employed. Remember, regardless of employment status, there should always be a contract in place.


Are you an employee?

An employee is a person employed under a contract of employment.

There are two elements to a contract of employment: mutuality of obligation and control which can help determine your employment status.

You are likely to be an employee if:

  • The employer provides you with your work, plus any tools and equipment for it, and the employer decides how and when you do the work
  • You have a written contract. The contract is called a ‘contract of service’
  • You are expected to do the work that you are employed to do and may be moved to different tasks
  • You are paid a regular amount according to the hours you work and Tax and National Insurance is deducted from this pay
  • You have to work a set amount of hours. You may get extra pay for overtime and bonuses.

Are you a worker?

A worker is not an employee and is said to be engaged under a contract of its own kind.

Workers are defined more widely than employees and are different from the genuinely self-employed. The status of a worker includes individuals working under a variety of contracts. Employees are a worker, but employees have different employment rights and responsibilities from workers.

Workers are usually:

  • Agency workers (‘temps’) – the Agency will find the work and pay the wages and the Company who hires the worker will pay the Agency for the work carried out
  • Short-term casual workers – casual workers are not usually part of the permanent workforce but supply their services on an irregular or flexible basis or have a ‘minimum guaranteed hours’ contract
  • The company deducts tax and National Insurance contributions from wages (PAYE system)
  • The company provides any tools, equipment or materials needed to undertake the work.

Are you self-employed?

You are likely to be self-employed if:

  • You determine how and when you do the work within reason
  • You can hire helpers or replacements for yourself if you are unable to do the work
  • You pay your own tax and National Insurance contributions on a self-employed basis (by completing a Self Assessment tax return)
  • You are contracted to provide services to the client/employer over a certain period of time for an agreed fee
  • In effect, you run your own business and take financial responsibility if it is successful or not and provide the main items of equipment
  • You may work on your own premises and you may work for several different employers at one time

If you are self-employed, your contract is called a ‘contract for service’.

Posted In  Employment status

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Case study

Lewis has taught part-time for two years for a music service (who are the lead hub organisation). He loves the work and looks forward to the contact he gets with other instrumental teachers he meets in the schools he works in. In a conversation with one teacher, he learns that the teacher has been contracted on a different employment contract from his one.

This means, for example, that the other teacher would be paid if they could not come into work because they were ill. Lewis has never been ill on a teaching day but he is concerned that he would lose income if he were ever sick.

As a member of the Musicians’ Union, Lewis approached his representative and asked them to explain why his contract appeared to be different. The MU rep explained to him that if he were to become sick,  he would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. They also explained to him that because he had satisfactorily passed his probationary period, he had an entitlement to other employment benefits such as holiday pay, access to a pension scheme and Statutory Paternity Pay as his other colleagues did.

Lewis checked this out with the music service and, in turn, the music service recognised how important it was to clarify what benefits teachers had on their contracts and produced a clear set of guidelines for their tutors and a staff handbook.


What you need to know

It is essential that you are aware of what the employment status is of the music tutors that you are engaging with. This is relevant in terms of pay, the rights and responsibilities they have.

In deciding the employment status of an individual, a variety of factors and circumstances need to be considered and not just the terms of contract. Currently, there is no single test to determine whether someone is an employee, worker or self-employed. Factors to consider include:

  • Control
  • Personal service
  • Equipment
  • Financial risk
  • Basis of payment
  • Mutuality of obligation
  • Holiday pay, sick pay and pension rights
  • Part and parcel of the organisation
  • Right to terminate a contract
  • Personal factors
  • Length of engagement
  • Intention of the parties

(Cooke J said in – Case Law: Market Investigations Ltd v Minister of Social Security – https://www.hmrc.gov.uk)

Posted In  Employment status

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The Code

Music practitioners and teachers should…

  • Be well prepared and organised
  • Work effectively and possess the appropriate specialist knowledge and skills
  • Negotiate with contractors and employers the aims, objectives and desired outcomes for the work and maintain communication for the duration of the project
  • Understand the context of a programme or project and plan effectively to ensure the success of the activity for the participants
  • Adopt appropriate attitude, behaviour and dress code
  • Manage their time effectively, starting and finishing as planned and agreed
  • Be aware of the support needed and request help when necessary
  • Keep up with relevant paperwork such as course planning documents, handouts, evaluation forms, invoices and budgets
  • Charge appropriately for services.

Be safe and responsible

  • Take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of everyone attending sessions, especially children, and vulnerable adults
  • Ensure that the activity is adequately insured
  • Ensure that Risk Assessments are carried out and manage any risks accordingly
  • Understand the contractor’s policies, routines, and procedures e.g. child protection, equal opportunities, behaviour management, data protection
  • Provide references for work and a CRB disclosure where necessary.

Have appropriate musical skills

  • Ensure that your level of skills, knowledge and understanding is sufficient to undertake the work
  • Demonstrate musical expertise, creativity and versatility
  • Adapt and react to changing circumstances by drawing on appropriate musical resources.

Work well with people

  • Value all participants and treat them with respect
  • Be sensitive and responsive to both group and individual dynamics
  • Motivate and inspire participants
  • Lead high-quality and enjoyable music experiences
  • Always be friendly, approachable and professional.

Evaluate and reflect on your work

  • Collect monitoring data for your contractors and employers as and when required
  • Collect feedback from contractors, employers and participants
  • Reflect on work and continually strive to improve your practice.

Commit to professional development

  • Improve and update your skills, knowledge and creativity via regular training, personal reflection and membership of professional bodies
  • Maintain a professional portfolio and CV.

Posted In  Child protection

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Case study

Jenny runs an after-school percussion group arranged through the local Hub. With an age range of 13 to 16, everyone gets on well. However, Jenny had noticed a change in behaviour in one of the pupils named Kim. Kim was getting angry when things went wrong; she also was losing weight.

One evening, Jenny asked Kim to stay behind after class to see if she could find out the cause of this change. Kim eventually admitted that her mother had been drinking a lot lately and had lashed out at her on occasion. Kim asked Jenny not to tell anyone as she was afraid people would make fun of her. However, Jenny explained she couldn’t keep the matter to herself and why she was obliged to pass the information on to the appropriate authority, which she did.

Jenny had not come up against this sort of situation before but, fortunately, had taken part in a Child Protection Awareness Training workshop organised and delivered by the MU through the Hub a few weeks earlier. The workshop included information on current legislation and the group undertook several exercises about how to deal with a range of situations.

Thanks to this training, Jenny was able to respond to Kim’s situation and was confident in her subsequent actions. To help clarify what she had learned in the workshop, Jenny went on to take the online Child Protection in Music course – https://platinum.educare.co.uk/music

Posted In  Child protection

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Child Protection Awareness Training (CPAT)

The Musicians’ Union recommends that members who teach are up to date with the legislation regarding safeguarding children.

The MU has developed a bespoke online CPAT course, Child Protection Awareness In Music, which was developed with the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) in partnership with ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and MusicLeader.

A series of videos created as part of this valuable online course can be viewed below.


Case studies

Below are some case studies surrounding child protection issues, highlighting the importance of having Child Protection Awareness Training.


You might not be the only one with concerns

Tina Smith, a guitar teacher working in a Secondary school, noticed that Lewis, a year 11 pupil who usually enjoyed his music lessons, started to turn up late and sometimes missed a lesson completely. He was looking increasingly anxious and tired and so Tina eventually asked him if everything was OK. Although Lewis said everything was fine, Tina was not satisfied.

Tina had never had to deal with something like that before. However, last year she attended an MU child protection workshop where such situations were discussed and advice and guidance was given to teachers on how to deal with them. Tina learned from the workshop that she couldn’t ignore her gut feelings even if they turned out to be unfounded and so she decided to raise her concerns about Lewis with the class teacher. She also made a note of her concerns to her line manager. Tina knew that the as an MU member she could contact the MU for reassurance and also that there was a NSPCC free helpline to support her if she felt the situation hadn’t been handled correctly.

The class teacher had identified similar behaviour in the classroom and was grateful that Tina had raised her concerns about Lewis with the school. It turned out that Lewis was becoming stressed by the volume of his GCSE coursework and he just needed to be supported and understood by his teachers until his GCSEs were over. After his exams Lewis went back to enjoying music and his guitar lessons again.


Emotional abuse – not the usual suspects

Anya Rozenthuler, a singing teacher who runs an extracurricular Saturday morning choir for gifted and talented pupils in a junior school, had grown increasingly uneasy about Jessie, one of the youngest and most recent members to join the choir. Anya noticed when Jessie was talking to her mother at the drop-off and collection times that Jessie’s behaviour was very compliant and that her mum was unusually vocal about what a prodigy her daughter was turning out to be. These remarks left Anya feeling uncomfortable, especially as she noticed that as soon as the mother left, Jessie’s whole demeanour changed. She became anxious and subdued and would frequently say she had lost her music when the time came to audition for parts.

Anya was nervous about raising the issues with Jessie’s mother, as she knew her mother was a local GP. Anya didn’t think her mother was the ‘type’ to be emotionally abusing her daughter and so she pushed her concerns to the back of her mind.

A couple of weeks later Anya attended an MU child protection workshop where she was surprised to hear one of her colleagues had experienced a similar situation. Anya learned that child abuse exists across all sectors of society and that the concerns she had were valid and needed to be acted on.

Knowing the facts, she felt much more confident with discussing her concerns with her line manager. The line manager helped her think about the conversation she might have with the Jessie’s mum. Anya was surprised how well this went and how Jessie’s mum responded to her concerns. Jessie’s mum explained that she had been so busy with work lately that she hadn’t been picking up on Jessie’s anxiety but now she said she realised that her comments weren’t helpful. They asked Jessie what she wanted and she said she would like to come along just to sing but not to take any of the lead parts. Once relieved of the pressure to perform Jessie relaxed and was able to really give her all to the sessions.


Physical abuse – the importance of sharing concern

Jamie Sheriff, a percussion workshop leader, works in a couple of the local secondary schools running one-off workshops on African drumming. One day, Shabbana, a year 13 pupil in one of his lessons, turned up late for the workshop and appears flustered. As she started playing, her sleeve rode up and James noticed a cluster of bruises on the underside of her forearm. Later, when Shabbana packed away the drums, Jamie asked her how she got the bruises. Shabbana said that her brother had grabbed her arm to stop her from stepping out in front of a car. Jamie wasn’t entirely convinced Shabbana was telling the truth but then remembered that Shabbana’s brother used to get into all sorts of scrapes when he was a teenager so he thought perhaps he was making a fuss about nothing.

At an MU child protection workshop, Jamie received some information about the signs of physical abuse and the importance of needing to share any concerns with another member of staff in order to get another perspective. From the workshop Jamie realised that there might be more to Shabbana’s story. He knows that it isn’t his role to make a judgement about what may or may not have happened but it is his role to pass on what he as observed and talked about with Shabbana.

Equipped with the new knowledge from the workshop, Jamie decides to speak to his line manager about his concerns even though the incident had happened several weeks ago. He also learns useful information about how to frame a question should he suspect abuse in the future. He knew that by keeping quiet there was a chance that Shabbana might be at further risk.

As a result of raising his concerns about Shabbana, his line manager contacted the school about Jamie’s concern. The school already had a safeguarding plan in place for Shabbana. They thanked Jamie for his vigilance and professionalism and asked him to make a retrospective note of what he observed and the conversation he had with Shabbana.


Facebook – teacher/pupil boundaries

Noah Goldstein, a 22-year-old rapper and DJ, runs songwriting workshops with youth groups and sixth form colleges. Last year he attended an MU child protection workshop because the charity he had recently started working for had asked him to go. When it was suggested that Noah attended the workshop he was quite reluctant as he didn’t understand what child protection and safeguarding children could possibly have to do with his work. He saw the young people he worked with more as young adults and some of them came to his gigs and were his Facebook friends.

During the workshop there was a presentation on current safeguarding legislation. Noah learned that the term ‘child’ applied to anyone under the age of 18. This was something that came as a shock to him as he hadn’t really thought about it before. There was also a discussion about Facebook and the issues that it can cause. Hearing other teachers’ and the workshop leader’s views he realised how important it was to have good boundaries in order to prevent an allegation of abuse or inappropriate conduct from a student. Noah decided that if he wanted to keep a good reputation and protect himself he would need to draw clearer boundaries between him and his students.

In the light of what he learned in the workshop he decided to change the privacy settings on his Facebook page and to be clearer in future with students about boundaries, which meant not inviting them to gigs. He also decided he needed to go back and ask both the charity he worked for and the school he worked in for a copy of their Child Protection/Safeguarding policies so he could be aware of all their policies around contact with the young people he worked with.


Sexual abuse – sexting

Sarah Sansome, a music workshop leader in inner city secondary schools, was working with a group of year 8 students towards a performance piece. As she was leaving she overheard a conversation between Jasmine (a pupil with learning disabilities) and Deepak about upsetting and obscene messages and images which Jasmine was getting on her phone from a group of year 10 boys. Sarah didn’t do anything at the time because she was already late for her next session but she went home thinking about the incident and wondered what to do about it.

One day Sarah saw an MU child protection workshop advertised in the MU magazine and decided it would be good to go as she had never been to a session for musicians and it was a long time since she had attended her initial training.

At the workshop she was able to discuss her concerns and realised that bullying in the form of ‘sexting’ was on the rise in schools and that she needed to report the incident she had witnessed, as holding on to the information could leave her in a compromised position, as well as not protecting Jasmine. Sarah also learned how children with learning disabilities and physical disabilities were much more vulnerable and more likely to be subject to abuse of all kinds.

The information she received at the MU child workshop helped Sarah to realise that child protection was everyone’s business and so she went back and found out what procedures she needed to follow in order to submit a report about the incident to both her line manager at the music service she worked for and the school’s designated child protection officer.


Inappropriate behaviour– grooming/harassment

Satnam Chayra is a peripatetic saxophone teacher and has one-to-one lessons with a 15-year-old female student called Nadia who has recently moved into the area.

One day Nadia turned up late to Satnam’s lesson carrying on a loud phone conversation with a friend as she walked into the teaching room. In the conversation Nadia gave details of sex between her and her ‘new boyfriend’, Phil. She then told her friend that Phil had just dropped her off at school in his new car and had given her a new iPhone. After the lesson Satnam taled to Nadia about her behaviour and the nature of the conversation being unacceptable but it seemed not to make a difference to her attitude.

The next day Satnam told his line manager, John, about what had just happened. John laughed off Satnam’s concerns and says ‘she lives in a fantasy world, that girl’.

Satnam attended an MU CPAT workshop and in the workshop Satnam was able to discuss his situation over coffee with the workshop leader who was very supportive. He was advised by the workshop leader to make a note of his concerns about both the girl’s safety and the effect her inappropriate behaviour was having on his ability to do his job properly, stating clearly that he felt harassed by it. Satnam left knowing he could get support from the MU with getting his concerns taken seriously and that he wasn’t making a fuss about nothing. The MU also suggested that Satnam could ask for a support worker to attend the lessons with Nadia to make things more comfortable and to ensure that Nadia kept appropriate boundaries.

The following day Satnam had another conversation with John who passed on Satnam’s concerns to the person in the school with designated child protection responsibilities who then talked to Nadia and her social worker. They were grateful that Satnam had taken the situation seriously as Nadia’s social workers were then able to give Nadia some extra support and advice around the sexual exploitation issue.


Never too late to report a disclosure

Martin McDonald, a flute teacher at a boarding school, heard about the MU CPAT training through the MU magazine. The training is specifically for musicians who teach and so Martin decided to go along and have some training as it might be more beneficial than the more general training he had had in the past.

In the training he recalled an incident with a girl called Rhianna that happened when he was rehearsing the school band for an end of term concert. As she was packing away at the end of the night, Rhianna told him that she used to self-harm but she had stopped it now. At the time Martin remembered being a bit shocked by what Rhianna had said but he made very little comment to her and thought no more about it.

In the workshop he had time to rethink what had happened. He realised that Rhianna was making a disclosure and that the self-harm may or may not have stopped but the situation causing it may still be there.

Martin was advised to make a note of the date and time of the initial disclosure then to go back to the pupil and tell them of his duty to pass on the information to the person in school with child protection responsibilities who will need to speak with Rhianna to find out what support she might need.


Incidents around the school

Clinton Fopart-Ttimet time music teacher in an inner city Academy, attended an MU child protection workshop on the recommendation of another teacher in the school.

During the afternoon session, teachers exchanged stories about the changes in pupil conduct over recent years and some of the challenges of teaching today.

Clinton shared a story that happened to him one lunchtime. Amy, a year 11 pupil in the school, who he didn’t teach, came up to Clinton and asked him if knew what a ‘blow job’ was and if he did this with his wife. Clinton was flabbergasted and said, ‘Amy, either you know what you are saying to me which is really bad, or you don’t understand what you are saying, which is also really bad’. He explained to the group that it seemed to him that she had been asked to do this ‘as a dare’ by a group of older girls who he could see standing over in a corner watching and laughing.

At the CPAT workshop Clinton got the chance to share the story and discuss what else he could have done. With hindsight he realised that it would have been good practice to share the incident with his Head of Department so they knew exactly what had happened and could approach Amy to reinforce the fact that her behaviour was not only unacceptable, but that it was also potentially risky for her to be approaching adults she didn’t know and using sexualised language. They could also deal with any potential bullying by older pupils towards Amy.

Although the incident had happened too long ago to do anything about it now, it did promote a lot of discussion about how to respond to some of the challenges that occur outside of the classroom and the importance of good communication with the Head of Department as well as keeping written notes of all potential safeguarding incidents no matter where in the school they might occur.


Inappropriate dress in lessons

Marios Doucas, a young music teacher who teaches cello from home, attended an MU safeguarding workshop after doing the MU NSPCC online course. The course made him realise that there was much more to safeguarding than he originally thought.

During the afternoon session, there was an exercise on the do’s and don’ts of good practice of music teaching in the classroom and safeguarding children. He realised that one of the issues he had with teaching at his home was around how students dress. There was one particular pupil, 13 year old Irina, who regularly turned up wearing a short skirt for lessons.

Marios explained that, although it was making him feel uncomfortable, he didn’t want to draw attention to it by talking about it with her. Discussing it at the workshop, he realised that he wasn’t the only teacher who had been unsure about what to do in this type of situation. The discussion made him realise that from this point forward he needed to have a clear written agreement with all new parents before the lessons began about the right equipment and dress for pupils attending the lessons.

As a result of sharing and discussing his issue with other teachers and the workshop leader he felt much more confident about what to do.

He resolved to talk with Irina’s parents about the dress issue as part of his weekly report back to them. He decided to phrase it in terms of Irina’s ease of movement and comfort when playing the instrument.


Risk assessing the teaching situation and forward planning

Paul Ennis, a piano teacher with considerable experience and based at home, attended a recent MU Child Protection workshop to update his skills.

During the course of the workshop he discussed a number of challenges around safeguarding and teaching from home, which have affected him over the years.

Most recently, Paul had been teaching a 5 year old student, Ruby. Her mum, Jane, had stayed for the first lesson. On the second lesson, seeing that Ruby was enjoying the lesson, Jane decided to pop to the local shop.

A moment or two after Jane left Ruby wet herself. Paul was at a loss as to what to do. He had forgotten to get Jane’s mobile number as the original plan was that Jane would sit in with Ruby.

Paul had never had to deal with a situation like this before. Luckily his wife was at home and asked Ruby if it would be OK to clean her up and find her some dry things to put on until her mum came back.

The incident that Paul shared made the teachers at the workshop really think about the importance of doing a thorough risk assessment of the home environment for teaching.

Paul realised that he needed to make his arrangements for contacting parents clear and also the need for insisting parents of young children sit in the car outside the lesson in future in case they were needed. That would avoid Paul or his wife and Ruby being put in a potentially compromising position.

Posted In  Child protection and  The hub experience: case studies

Worried people

Networking is an essential skill for any musician.  But, like any skill, it can be improved with practice. David Taylor, music entrepreneur and founder of Yorkshire Young Sinfonia, explains how.


I’ve recently had a trip back to Birmingham Conservatoire (my old home) to be on a panel at their careers conference. One theme that came up time and time again was the importance of networking. Towards the end of the session, was probably the most interesting question…

‘Networking is such an important skill and sounds vital to being successful. It is so much easier if you’re an extrovert. How do you do it if you are an introvert?’

Amazing question! Straight away identifying that not all of us are natural networkers. However, the answer that was given was shocking…

‘If you want to be successful, you need to change who you are. You need to become an extrovert. If want it enough, you’ll change, and if you don’t change, then you don’t want it enough.’

I couldn’t work out if I was furious, shocked or appalled by this answer which is both horrific and detrimental. I definitely nearly swore on stage and sadly I didn’t get chance to input on the subject or to catch the musician at the end.

And so, I dedicate the rest of this blog to the wonderful introverted musician who was brave enough to ask such an incredible question and didn’t get the answer they deserved.

Yes, I have just been speaking on a panel at a university. Yes I have been networking with the other speakers business people who are huge names what looks like ease. Yes I have spoken in front of over 1000 people before…

However, I am an introvert. I am shy. I get cripplingly nervous in social situations. And I have found ways to make being an introvert work for me… so here are some tips!

Most people find networking hard

The more I talk to people about networking, the more I’m amazed that no one really likes it. Like, they get it’s important, but every will admit it’s a struggle and will have been fretting about it before.

Be reassured that everyone is in the same boat. They will also probably be nervous speaking to you. They will probably stumble over their words. They will probably have eaten less at lunch because they have butterflies.

Find a practice dummy

Ok, this one is a total confession that I will probably regret. The first person I talk to at a networking event is a practice dummy. Let me explain…

Even though I have explained who I am and what I do hundreds of times, I still cock it up. I turn up to events nervous, a bit stuttery and in need of reassurance. So what I do is practise talking to someone who is of no importance to my networking that day and do a dry run pitch on them.

This helps me in a few ways. Usually, I’m worried that my voice won’t work as it’s early in the day, and the fact I’m talking usually helps calm this, or it gets my coughs out.

Also, the lack of pressure makes it all a little easier. So what if I mess this one up? It’s not like it’s my big pitch of the day where I’m wanting to really impress.

Another thing I’ve found is that it helps you learn how to listen and how to make a conversation flow. If this is someone unrelated that you weren’t wanting to talk to originally, you’re probably going to struggle to make a conversation work – if you can get a chat going here, it’s going to feel really easy later.

(Bizarrely, my practice dummy is usually the worst I will be all day… I tend to get better as the day goes on.)

Get there early

I’m not the biggest fan of crowds. I do better once I’ve settled in to things, but walking into a packed room of people already talking can feel like hell.

What has really helped me is getting there early to ease myself into it. It’s so much quieter, you don’t have to raise your voice and you probably won’t have to fight for time too. It’s a much more relaxed environment and by the time things get busier later, you’ll be feeling more comfortable.

I also find one-on-one networking a lot less tiring than doing it in groups. When it is early there are more chances to do this.

Ask for help

Seems weird and I’ve only come across this by accident. Event organisers REALLY want you to have a good time and do well at these things. If you’re turning up to an event knowing no one, go and find an organiser, tell them what you do and the sort of people you’re looking to meet, and ask if they know anyone they could introduce you too. I’m very certain they will say yes (if they say no, it’s not because you’re weird, it’s because they have 9999 lanyards to give out or a stage to organise).

I found this by… well not by asking for help, but for help being given. My first big conference was a disaster, but the organisers noticed I was on my own and spent the next three days introducing me to people or talking to me when I was on my own. (Mega thanks to the Association of British Orchestras team).

Be yourself – extroverts are usually annoying

Let’s face it. Those cocky flamboyant extroverts can sometimes be dicks. By staying true to your own personality, you’re not going to be in someone’s face and being insanely annoying.

This totally works in your favour and being a bit quieter and not as forward can sometimes get you bigger rewards, as people will really appreciate the fact you listen.

Being an introvert can be an asset.

Make contact first on Twitter

My latest tip is making some form of contact with someone I want to connect with on Twitter. Whether it’s a retweet or a like of their post, or if you’re sharing the stage with someone tagging them in a post or photo. This means you’ve broken the ice before either of you arrive and they probably know who you are. I did this at an event in February and the other person started doing exactly the same in return on the journey to the event… by the time we arrived we practically knew each other and there was no awkwardness.

(Disclaimer: if they don’t know who you are, don’t sweat it. It just means that they haven’t had the time to follow things up, not that they don’t want to know you.)

Let people talk

If you find talking tricky the answer is easy… ask questions and let people talk. Most people love talking about themselves and being asked questions about it makes them feel important (and who doesn’t love to feel important?). In reality you can probably have a whole conversation where you say 4 sentences.

Take time out

I have massive adrenaline swings. From trying to know more about myself and learning from past experiences I’ve found how I need to manage these. Sometimes time out and a coffee is really important to make sure you don’t burn out later, both in terms of energy and keeping on top of those negative thoughts.

I also know that I now have an adrenaline crash after networking, so have a banana or chocolate ready for the way home as a pick me up… and I’ve now learnt not to beat myself up when I do feel low afterwards. The day wasn’t a failure, I’m not a failure… I’m just tired.

There are LOADS of resources and you’re not alone

Googling the two words ‘networking introverts’ comes up with 414,000 results, and articles including The Guardian, Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review and Forbes Magazine. By no means are you the only one, and not only are introverts asking for help, we’re also giving it to each other. Do a bit of research and you will find lots of support and a community.

A final note

Networking is a skill. Just like playing your instrument, it’s a skill you’re going to have to practise. And just like playing your instrument, you’re not going to be the world’s best at the very beginning. But, like your instrument, you will get better, little by little, as time goes on.

By thinking of networking as a skill you can refine it and that it is something that you can and will get better at in your own special and unique way.

And so, here is my final message to that musician who asked the question about networking as an introvert…

You are an introvert.
You are an awesome person.
You do not have to change to succeed.
You WILL succeed!


About the author

David Taylor

One of the leading entrepreneurs in classical music, David Taylor is the CEO and Founder of the acclaimed Yorkshire Young Sinfonia (YYS).

Since its creation, YYS has reached an audience of over 3 million people in just 2 years. YYS continues to grow, receiving widespread media coverage, including the BBC Radio 4 documentary, Birth of an Orchestra, and winning the White Rose Awards 2016 – Arts and Culture Award – the largest tourism awards in the UK. Other coverage includes The Telegraph, Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and Classical Music Magazine.

In 2017, YYS will become the first youth orchestra in the world to be 100% digital, performing with international violinist Ray Chen.

David is passionate about enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators in classical music, regularly speaking about entrepreneurship in the arts.

Before founding YYS, David taught cello at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (Jerusalem).

Website: davidtaylormusic.co.uk
Twitter: @DTaylorMuso
Instagram: DTaylorMuso
Facebook: DTaylorMuso
Snapchat: DTaylorMuso

davidtaylormusic.co.uk

Posted In  Careers guides