Case study

Jane

Jane teaches flute at the local Secondary school on a contract she received through the local Hub. She has been teaching after school on a Tuesday for two terms in the same room without a problem. However, last Tuesday, the room was double-booked so she was moved to the 'drama hut' on the other side of the playground.

There was only one light in the room which was very dim and there didn’t seem to be any heating. She reluctantly continued with the lesson but that evening she emailed her manager about the situation and asked him if there was anything she could do.

The next day, her manager called Jane to say he had contacted the school to explain that it was not acceptable for teachers to work under those conditions; the school apologised and assured her manager that in future, they would ensure that all visiting music teachers were given a suitable teaching room to teach in.

Jane also went on a Health and Safety training day organised by the Musicians’ Union so she knew what her obligations were as well as those of the school and her employer.

A music teacher, whether employed by a school, Music Service or a Hub or as a self-employed person, must take responsibility for their own health and safety while on the school's premises and they must ensure that they comply with the school's Health & Safety procedures while they are on-site. However, this does not negate the school or employer's responsibility to them under the Health & Safety at Work Act.