We are a little surprised there has been so little adverse comment to Linda Merrick’s assertion in the Guardian on Friday that individual teaching may have to end at the Royal Northern College of Music in the wake of the various sexual abuse claims and investigations. This may be, in part, because the Guardian appears to have shut down its comment section on the article. The drastic remedy, however, requires broader consideration.
Professor Merrick talked of knocking down walls in the college and making everything open plan. That’s an extreme approach, hugely disruptive and by no means the best solution available in 2013. Video cameras in every teaching room will deter abusers from trying it on and provide evidence in the event of any claims being made against a teacher, true or false.
Videos, Professor Merrick, are the way to go. They use them in kindergartens as standard. Why not in conservatoires?
N. B. On related matters, Ian Pace has created a Facebook page urging people to write to their MPs to demand a public inquiry into music schools and conservatories in England. We support a public inquiry. It may be the only way to save the sector from the legacy of abuse.