Back to top      

Guidance for staff

RCM crest
The RCM campus is now open with social distancing measures in place for individual music-making, one-to-one teaching and RCM Library ‘click and collect’ service. During the summer, most professional services continue to operate remotely.

The health and wellbeing of the RCM community is our top priority and protective measures have been put in place to help ensure the safest possible use of the building at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, reducing or increasing access and activities in the building as appropriate.

We expect the full range of College facilities to be operational by September 2020. Our focus will be on providing space for music-making activities on campus and in-person delivery of as many activities as possible. To support this, we are planning a flexible curriculum for the autumn that will enable students to benefit from our world-leading teaching and facilities while keeping safe, as well as taking advantage of our digital learning environment.

From September, we will be resuming our performance programme with social distancing measures in place. We will facilitate student music-making both with classmates and the roster of celebrated visiting artists who will be coming to the College to work with us. The programme includes a wide range of solo and chamber music, moving to orchestral repertoire, festivals and fully staged operas in the spring.  

Some of these projects will use blended approaches to learning with both live and digital interaction, harnessing all the additional benefits that online resources can bring. Our online concert series will continue with specially commissioned films and an expanded programme of streaming and recording to share our performances, masterclasses and other activities with global audiences.  

By January 2021 we are planning to return to teaching all classes onsite, except where we think digital delivery is better for students.  

The Royal College of Music is a highly creative and adaptable community of exceptional students, professors and staff. 

To see how the RCM community has pulled together to create music remotely follow #RCMCommunity on social media.  

The content below reflects operational changes brought into effect on 15 March and further changes following nationwide Government instructions on 4 July.

This page was last updated on 6 July and will be updated again in the event of further changes.

Please check your email, Asimut and Learn.rcm regularly for specific updates relevant to you and your work.

RCM buildings and services

RCM campus

  • The Blomfield Building is now open for individual music-making (including with an accompanist), one-to-one teaching and ‘click and collect’ from the RCM Library. 
  • During the initial phases of our return to campus, only students, professors, accompanists and a small number of specifically authorised staff and contractors will be given access. 
  • Our priority is the health and wellbeing of the RCM community; we will continue to monitor the situation closely, reducing or increasing access and activities in the building as appropriate. 
  • All professional services including HR continue to operate and provide support remotely.

Blomfield Building

  • Designated rooms are available for one-to-one teaching in the Blomfield Building on the lower ground, ground and second floor, as well as the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall and Parry Rooms. All practice rooms must be booked in advance via Registry and performance spaces can be booked via P&P. Please check your College emails for more information. 
  • The building is subject to enhanced cleaning regimes and we have implemented a one-way route and maximum room capacities in line with government guidance.
  • If you feel unwell, you must stay at home. 

RCM Library

  • You are unable to browse the library collection in person at this time but we are offering a ‘click and collect’ service for all music and books.
  • The RCM Library is open for collections on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1pm and 5pm. 
  • All requests must be e-mailed to library@rcm.ac.uk. The library team will issue material and contact you when it is ready.
  • The full range of online services is available via Learn.rcm

Learning and teaching

One-to-one teaching (principal, second & related studies) and academic classes

  • The Blomfield Building is now open for one-to-one teaching for senior College students and professors. We have implemented robust social distancing and cleaning measures in the buildings, including a one-way route and maximum room capacities.
  • Teaching rooms must be booked in advance. Brass, woodwind and vocal lessons will only be permitted in specified large rooms. These measures are based on current government guidance and will be updated should the official advice change. 
  • Professors should not feel any pressure to return to campus – digital delivery continues to be our main method of delivery during the summer months. Please only return to campus if you and your student(s) feel comfortable doing so and live close enough to be able to walk/cycle to College, avoiding public transport where possible.
  • We have implemented additional live one-to-one tuition time prior to graduating students’ final recitals to ensure that students have the opportunity to work with their professors prior to assessment.
  • From September 2020, we expect all one-to-one instrumental and vocal teaching to be delivered in person. Composition professors and doctoral supervisors should discuss with their students whether in-person or online teaching would be preferable.
  • Faculty classes will normally be split between online and in-person delivery, except conducting and composition faculty classes, which will be delivered online. Classes that take place onsite will be recorded and published on Learn.rcm.
  • During 2020/21, academic and contextual teaching will be delivered using a blended approach that combines in-person and online delivery. During the autumn term, most modules will be delivered through Learn.rcm, with online classes delivered with Microsoft Teams. We plan to return to in-person delivery of all teaching as soon as possible.

Performance programme

  • From September 2020, we will be resuming our performance programme with social distancing measures in place, prioritising the health and wellbeing of our community at all times. The programme will initially focus on solo and chamber performances, broadening out to orchestral music, festivals and fully staged operas as the academic year progresses.
  • We have found ways to facilitate student music-making both with classmates and the roster of celebrated visiting artists who will be coming to the College to work with us.
  • Visiting artists for 2020/21 include Rafael Payare, The Harlem Quartet, Martyn Brabbins, Jac van Steen, Jon Wilson and Gianandrea Noseda.
  • Many of our upcoming projects will use blended approaches with both live and digital interacting, harnessing all the additional benefits online resources can bring.
  • Our online concert series will continue with specially commissioned films based on celebrated RCM composers, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Elizabeth Maconchy, and an expanded programme of streaming and recording to share our performances, masterclasses and other activities with global audiences.

Do I have to deliver my one-to-one teaching on campus in July?

There is no pressure to return to campus; please only do so if you and your student(s) feel comfortable. You can continue to delivery one-to-one lessons remotely if you prefer. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.

Can I deliver one-to-one teaching in-person at my home?

Professors are not yet permitted to teach in-person from home as this would not be consistent with current government restrictions on households. We will permit teaching from home as soon as government restrictions support it.

Will one-to-one teaching finish at the end of term as normal?

The academic year finishes on Friday 10 July and most students should stop one-to-one lessons by then. The exception is students who have recitals in August/September and students who have not had access to instruments at home during lockdown. These students and their professors have been notified directly by their Heads of Faculty.

Do digital lessons count as official lessons?

Yes, learning and teaching via digital means counts as official lesson time.

Impact of operational changes on your work

Professional services staff  

  • We anticipate that most professional services staff will continue to work from home until autumn at the earliest.  
  • We hope that everyone is mindful of good working practices and has set themselves up to work from home as comfortably as possible. If, for any reason, you are unable to work from home, please discuss this with your manager so that we may identify who would benefit from an earlier return to working on campus and assess whether it is possible.  

Academic staff  

  • For those who wish to do so, you are now able to deliver one-to-one lessons in person to your students on campus.
  • Professors should not feel any pressure to return to campus – digital delivery continues to be our main method of teaching throughout the summer term.

Casual workers    

  • Casual workers are engaged across the RCM in a variety of roles. We are honouring our commitment to these members of staff and paying at the normal rate of pay. 
  • Casual workers will continue to be engaged to support teaching and learning across college during the summer term as required. 

New members of staff

  • Your employment with the RCM will be effective from the date specified in your contract of employment.  
  • You should liaise with your line manager to ensure that your details are entered onto the RCM systems to allow you to start working remotely and ensure payment of your salary can take place.

Parents of children affected by school closures

  • Individuals affected by the closure of schools should have a discussion with their line manager and determine their home/remote working arrangements, perhaps discussing a variation in when and how they work. It may be that some work may be possible across the evenings rather than during the day, for example. You will continue to receive your contractual pay.

Pay in event of illness or caregiving

If I am diagnosed with coronavirus will I be paid?

Academic & professional services staff

If you are diagnosed with the coronavirus you will be paid in line with our normal contractual entitlements and procedure. Members of staff should refer to the Sickness Absence Policy on the HR pages of Muse to clarify their entitlement to occupational sick pay.

In the event that you do not qualify for the occupation sick pay scheme, you will receive Statutory Sick Pay which is paid at the rate of £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks, and will be paid from the first day of sickness.

Casual workers

If we have already confirmed your engagement we will honour our commitment and you will receive payment for that engagement at your normal rate of pay. The person who engaged you will process the payment in the usual way.

If I must care for a dependent or loved one unexpectedly will I be paid?

Academic & professional services staff

We ask that you use your best judgement and put the safety and wellbeing of you and your family first. We recognise that you might find it difficult to work while caring for dependents and ask you to do whatever you can.

Please ensure that you keep in close contact with your manager during this period so that they’re able to plan and monitor workloads. You will continue to receive your contractual pay.

Casual workers

If we have already confirmed your engagement we will honour our commitment and you will receive payment for that engagement at your normal rate of pay. The person who engaged you will process the payment in the usual way.

Travel

All staff are advised to consult the latest advice from the UK authorities before planning or undertaking any travel. Whilst government measures require those arriving in, or returning to, the UK to self-isolate at home for 14 days are in place, staff who travel overseas on leave and who will have a quarantine period on their return will need to either:

  • work from home if this is possible; if you have returned to on-site working you should seek approval in advance to return to homeworking for the quarantine period.
  • book additional days holiday to cover the quarantine period.
  • take unpaid leave for the quarantine period.

Can I cancel my annual leave?

Even whilst working from home, it is critical for health and wellbeing to take your annual leave and have time away from screens and working life. Any annual leave which is already booked should normally be taken as planned.

In these exceptional circumstances and to support staff during this challenging time, we are allowing 10 days of leave to be carried over when the leave period ends at the end of July – up from the usual five days. At the discretion of individual managers, this leave should be taken over the next two years. Colleagues who have been designated as 'furloughed workers' will be encouraged to have a discussion with your line manager if you have more than 10 days of accrued leave still to take by the end of the leave year.

Support

Supporting students who are worried about coronavirus

  • We know that many staff will be approached by students with concerns about coronavirus. If a student raises a concern, please ask them to follow the advice on this page.
  • If they have any questions, they should contact Student Services at studentservices@rcm.ac.uk.

Supporting colleagues who are worried about coronavirus or working remotely

  • If a team member or colleague raises a concern, please ask them to follow the advice on this page or speak to Human Resources at humanresources@rcm.ac.uk.
  • Whilst working remotely, it is a good idea to keep in contact with team members as much as possible through phone calls and conference calling on platforms such as Microsoft Teams.
  • We would encourage staff to interact regularly with their colleagues and speak to their line manager if they are concerned about their mental or physical wellbeing.

Support for you

  • If you are concerned about coronavirus or worried about friends and family, please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources for advice and support at humanresources@rcm.ac.uk.
  • Staff can access mental health support via Confidential Care.

Prejudice connected with coronavirus

  • The Royal College of Music has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism. If you witness or experience bullying or harassment, your voice will be heard and taken seriously.
  • Staff can contact Human Resources for advice and support at humanresources@rcm.ac.uk.

Further questions

If we have not answered your question please email coronavirus@rcm.ac.uk.

 

Tick graphic

Guidance for current students

Our latest information on how the current situation affects studies and exams, as well as guidance on how to keep safe and where to find support.

Read our guidance for current students

Tick graphic
RCM singers mid-performance with an RCM orchestra accompanying them behind

Guidance for visitors

Our latest information on how the current situation affects public activities at the RCM, including performances and our Open Day.

Read our guidance for visitors

RCM singers mid-performance with an RCM orchestra accompanying them behind