Reason to be Hopeful

Education Secretary Michael Gove has written to a selection of authorities on the subject of music teaching. Apparently the NSPCC and Musicians’ Union – among others – had been advising music teachers that they should avoid touching pupils at all costs to protect themselves from unfounded accusations of abuse, and the Secretary – displaying a refreshing attitudeto common sense – has told them

By telling your music teachers that they should avoid any physical contact with children, it sends out completely the wrong message. It plays to a culture of fear among both adults and children, reinforcing the message that any adult who touches a child is somehow guilty of inappropriate contact. We must move away from this presumption and the Department for Education is taking steps to restore common sense to this whole area.

(Full story, and a link to the full text of the letter, on the Department for Education website here).

I know – and so does Michael Gove, if you read the full text – that children need to be protected from the tiny minority of bad people in the world, and it’s the role of every adult – whether a parent or not – to be part of that protection. But a society which regards every adult as suspect is doing nothing to identify, and protect children from, the genuinely dangerous ones.

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