Last updated 2.3.21
Please note that in addition to the information below a new page on testing was published 27th Feb and updated 1st March regarding testing for pupils, staff, households, and bubbles of households, which also indicates that anyone over age of 18 can collect testing kits from local test centres. Please check the updated guidance here
Covid testing & peripatetic music tutors in schools
Ahead of schools reopening on March 8th we’ve been in correspondence with Public Health (Wiltshire). We want to support you to liaise with your peripatetic tutors and get face-to-face music tuition back on track in your school.
It is of course possible that between now and 8 March some things might change but we hope this will give you a firm basis for discussions with your visiting tutors and music leaders – we have communicated this to our Associates. We’ll do our best to update you about anything we hear. Please communicate with your peripatetic tutors and music leaders as soon as you can.
Public Health has referred us to the information quoted below from the National Education Union (NEU), relating specifically to Primary and Nursery settings. (Find the full document here (see links approx 3 paras down). This guidance makes it clear that peripatetic music teachers should be included in your plans for testing:
“How are staff defined in primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools?
The primary, schools-based nursery and maintained nursery school workforce includes all staff who are working in these settings including contractors or peripatetic staff. Schools and nurseries should also offer testing to other staff members, such as clinical practitioners, therapists, other support staff, caterers, volunteers and those supporting with wraparound childcare to children currently attending school. Some staff (particularly those employed through the NHS) may have separate arrangements for regular testing.”
“How often should primary and early years staff take a test?
Staff should take the test twice weekly at home 3-4 days apart. If staff work part-time or have irregular attendance, they should still take a test twice weekly as above. Peripatetic staff should choose one school/nursery from where they will collect their home test kits.”
“Schools are not paying for the tests and therefore they will not incur any costs.”
Whilst we know that testing for Secondary School Staff will be handled differently to Primary, we have found nothing in the guidance to suggest that the ways in which secondary schools define “staff” or respond to movements between schools should be different – the key points being:
- “… school workforce includes all staff who are working in these settings including contractors or peripatetic staff…”
- “Schools are not paying for the tests and therefore they will not incur any costs.”
- “NHS Test and Trace will provide reimbursement of reasonable workforce support costs.”
We know that testing in specialist settings and special schools requires extra considerations for those settings working with vulnerable children and young people. But we have found nothing to suggest that peripatetic music tutors cannot be included in the list of staff working on a setting’s site – government guidance says that any staff working on a setting’s site can be offered lateral flow device (LFD) tests at the setting’s discretion, including the list below.
- teaching assistants
- clinical staff employed by the school
- other support staff (including therapists)
- those involved in cleaning testing sites
- school nurses
Do please do let us know if you are given contradictory advice or have any feedback about testing in schools