Internet Teaching Child Protection Statement

It is the policy of Limerick School of Music to safeguard the welfare of all the children and young people who are taught music and take part in our activities. Limerick School of Music is committed to providing a positive and enlightened environment, to facilitate the best possible educational outcome for participants. The welfare of the children and young people under our care is paramount.

This policy extends the Child Protection Policy of Limerick School of Music which is available from www.limerickschoolofmusic.ie

Teaching of Instruments via the Internet.

In facilitating access to the greatest range of instruments and teaching opportunities for our students, Limerick School of Music extends the opportunity to study with instrumental teachers via the internet using video telephony using Skype, Google Hangouts or other similar services. In providing these opportunities, we commit to adhering to the following best practices in the interest of safeguarding both students and teachers.

Child Protection Concerns Related to Internet Teaching

  • The situation introduces the student to the idea of communicating with an adult that is not part of their family group over the internet. This is not a practice that should come to be considered normal by the student and it should be emphasised by parents that communicating in this manner is something that requires permission and supervision;
  • This method of teaching invites the teacher into the student’s home, and vice versa, without being physically present and, therefore, possibly unknown to other members of either household. There should be an awareness on behalf of all involved that there is someone virtually present in their home and that everyone’s actions need to be reflected in this. Insofar as is possible, the teaching situation should closely reflect that of teaching in a music school;
  • The possibility exists for distribution of recordings of lessons on the internet by the student, parents, the teacher or Limerick School of Music. This may be desirable at times, such as using the recordings to promote the usefulness of internet lessons and best practice in the area. However, the written agreement of all parties is an absolute requirement before any materials are distributed;
  • Limerick School of Music teachers undertake as part of our Child Protection Policy to report any concerns over child welfare to David O’Connell who is the designated person within LSOM for child welfare in the location in which they are working, physically or virtually

Parental Consent

Written parental consent shall be sought for the purposes of:

  • Engaging with the young person in their home, or other locations as decided, via internet video telephony;
  • The recording of such lessons as a record of the interactions between teacher and student;
  • Posting of lessons to the internet for the promotion of the usefulness of internet lessons and best practice in the area. This latter permission should be obtained separately from the above items as it is not part of the teaching programme.

Location and Supervision of Lessons

Written parental consent shall be sought for the purposes of:

  • Engaging with the young person in their home, or other locations as decided, via internet video telephony;
  • The recording of such lessons as a record of the interactions between teacher and student;
  • Posting of lessons to the internet for the promotion of the usefulness of internet lessons and best practice in the area. This latter permission should be obtained separately from the above items as it is not part of the teaching programme.

Video Telephony Addresses

  • All lessons and student-teacher interaction on the student’s part must take place using video telephony addresses that are controlled by or fully accessible to parents.
  • All lessons and student-teacher interaction on the student’s part must take place using an organisational address that is provided by and controlled by Limerick School of Music/Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board.
  • Teachers should not use their own video telephony addresses for the purpose of contact with the student.

Grounds for concern

The grounds for concern laid out in Limerick School of Music Child Protection Policy shall apply in all lessons given over the internet and shall apply to all children in the student’s home. This includes things that happen in the background or off-camera.

If a parent has any concerns about the process or relationship between student and teacher, they should contact David O’Connell to discuss the situation.  Limerick School of Music undertakes to investigate all complaints or concerns regarding its teaching staff in line with our Child Protection Policy.

Signed: David O’Connell, Principal, Limerick School of Music,

Date: 23 March, 2020