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Michael Gove attacks Musicians' Unions for instructing music teachers to avoid any physical contact with children

By Jonathan Isaby

Over the Christmas break, the Daily Mail uncovered a video campaign run by the Musicians' Union - and backed by the NSPCC - instructing music teachers to avoid any physical contact with children whilst teaching them how to play an instrument.

Here's the video in question:

Education Secretary Michael Gove has now issued a formal response to the campaign, suggesting that it "plays to a culture of fear that any adult who touches a child is somehow guilty of inappropriate conduct ".

Michael Gove Sky News In a letter to those behind the campaign, he says:

"There are many occasions when it will be totally appropriate, indeed positively right, for teachers or tutors to be in physical contact with a pupil. It is entirely proper and necessary for adults to touch children when they demonstrate how to play a musical instrument, when they show how to play certain sports, when they are leading a child away from trouble, when they are comforting distressed or disconsolate children and when they are intervening to prevent disorder and harm."

He goes on:

"Teachers should be trusted to touch children without feeling they are somehow transgressing the rules of appropriate conduct. If we stigmatise and seek to restrict all physical contact between responsible adults and children, we will only undermine healthy relations between the generations. If we play to the assumption that any physical contact is somehow suspect then we will make children more suspicious of adults and adults more nervous and confused about their role in our society."

It's worth reading his letter in full, which is a good dose of common sense.


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