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Hampshire Music Service September Return

Dear colleagues,

I have copied below Jill Larner's (Head of Hampshire Music Service) letter regarding Hampshire Music Service provision for September below. This was sent out to all schools yesterday.

Dear Headteacher

I’m delighted to be able to say that the latest DfE guidance states that from September, with the full reopening of schools, peripatetic teachers will be able to return to working with pupils face to face, and can travel from school to school. This means that, with your agreement, Hampshire Music Service teachers will be able resume all our work in schools, working within the guidelines from DfE and from the national specialist organisations, Music Mark and the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

I really wasn’t sure we would get this far before the end of term and I feel so much more positive now. I know you are as keen as we are for all children to be back in school and accessing the full range of opportunities.

Thank you very much indeed for your continued commitment to Hampshire Music Service and to making music available for your pupils during lockdown. At the beginning of the summer term, the potential impact of Covid19 on HMS was a very real threat to the future of the Service. With your support, and working in partnership with you and your passionate music, administrative, finance and leadership staff over the last four months HMS has maintained an active "virtual" presence, with 2750 real-time lessons taking place weekly, weekly curriculum support, online recitals, a Summer Music Festival, many 'In Isolation' massed performances and even weekly online ensemble rehearsals. Feedback from parents and pupils has been extremely positive.

We’re now ready, willing and able to get back to working with children and school colleagues face to face and making music together – I don’t think our teachers have said this before but I’ve heard several times “I can’t wait for September”!

We’re waiting for further guidance from the DfE/DCMS, expected any day now, so I’ll be able to write again before the end of term with more detail, but for now I’d like to ask for your support please, to enable pupils to resume the enjoyment of making music together next term and gaining the many benefits we know that come from this, including the positive influence on emotional wellbeing, teamwork and self-esteem.

This term we have been delivering class music sessions in five primary schools. For each of these we matched our own risk assessments with theirs so that we knew that all hazards had been identified and mitigated against. The feedback has been very positive and it gives me great confidence that we will be able to work safely in all schools. The main priorities are:

1. Hygiene

For schools who have class teaching/Listen2Me/Beyond the Beat/Rock to the Beat, the following measures will be in place:

· Instruments such as keyboards, samba, ukulele etc. will be cleaned before first use and between classes, so instruments can be shared with confidence. When class teaching happens weekly, no cleaning will be required.

· Whilst restrictions are in place for whole-class brass, woodwind and singing; HMS has developed new schemes of work of music through body percussion etc.

2. Social distancing

Instrumental / Tuition - Groupings (according to school ‘bubble’ policy) and group sizes, in collaboration between HMS teachers and schools will be adjusted to meet advice on social distancing.

School-based ensembles - ensembles of 15 can continue within the ‘bubble’ policy of schools, space permitting. Ensembles of percussion instruments, guitars, keyboard, strings and ukulele can continue in groups of any number.

We’re keen to work with you to make things work well in your school and once the additional guidance confirms what we can do, there will be the possibility for discussions about individual solutions as required. For now, thank you again for all you’re doing to enable all Hampshire’s young people to get through this challenging time and to start afresh in September with so much to look forward to. We’re all passionate about the importance of music education in schools and we are excited to work with you again over the next academic year.

Best wishes,


Jill Larner

Head of Hampshire Music Service

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