School of Music

Physical contact policy

Further information

References

Contact

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This policy provides an outline of staff obligations and student rights concerning physical contact while studying music.

Objectives

To ensure that all students and staff undertaking music performance are able to work and study in an environment where they feel that appropriate standards of behaviour are expressed and to provide an environment that is safe and free from discrimination and harassment.

Organisational scope

This policy applies to all staff and students involved in music performance within the School of Music at The University of Western Australia.

Definitions

'Discrimination' is where a person is treated less favourably because of their sex, age, marital status, pregnancy, race, ethnic origin, sexual preference, political or religious conviction, impairment, family responsibility or family status. Discrimination may be direct, indirect or systemic.

'Harassment' for the purpose of these procedures is defined as any unwelcome, offensive, belittling or abusive comment or action regarding a person’s sex, age, marital status, pregnancy, race, ethnic origin, sexual preference, political or religious conviction, impairment, family responsibility or family status. It is behaviour towards another person which is intimidating or embarrassing, and adversely affects the work or study environment.

Policy

The School of Music regularly teaches students, with some of these students being minors, in a manner that sometimes may require physical contact between a staff member and the student. Due to the nature of our one-to-one music performance teaching program, the School acknowledges that staff may at times touch students during instruction to effectively teach instrumental technique. Any physical contact is to be done in a manner that is seen as appropriate to both the staff member and the student.

Before a staff member commences the first teaching session with a student, students are to be provided with an explanation of any future touching procedure. Students are to advise the staff member of any concerns they may have with the types of physical contact that are explained, at any time throughout the course. A student also has the option of having another person of their choice present during teaching.

Staff members are responsible for ensuring that as far as practical, students concerns are considered and action is taken to eliminate these concerns while teaching. All unit co-ordinators will ensure that all sessional/casual academic staff are informed of this policy and their responsibilities as outlined, towards their students.

Any staff member or student who feels that that this policy has not been adhered to may:

Students may also refer to the University's Student's Grievance Resolution Policy.