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Guidance for staff

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Face-to-face teaching and other socially distanced activities have now resumed on campus with protective measures in place.

Everyone who plans to come to campus should have a Covid-19 test before entering the College. Thereafter, we strongly advise the entire RCM community to participate in twice-weekly testing at one of many local testing centres or using home-testing kits available to all students and staff.

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. This includes requiring all staff and students to wear facemasks and adhere to two metre social distancing on campus. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Covid-19 – what to do if you have symptoms

If you are an RCM student, professor or staff member and you experience symptoms of Covid-19, you should take the following steps as promptly as possible:

If you think another student or member of staff might have symptoms, you should encourage them to do the same. Further information is available in each of the guidance sections below.

Complete the Covid self-reporting form

The content below reflects operational changes brought into effect on 15 March 2020 and further changes following nationwide Government instructions coming into effect on 17 May 2021.

This page was last updated on 12 May 2021 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.

Latest Covid-19 updates from the RCM

The RCM has plans in place for a number of scenarios including coronavirus cases on campus and changing government restrictions. The following plans are in line with guidance from the UK Government.

RCM students, RCMJD students, professors and staff members who experience symptoms of Covid-19 must self-isolate, notify the RCM using the Covid self-reporting form and book a test.

Complete Covid self-reporting form

In the instance of confirmed or suspected cases, the RCM will communicate with individuals directly. No wider communications will be sent to the College community. Students and staff who are self-isolating will be fully supported by the RCM.

In the event of several confirmed cases at the College, action may be taken to further reduce activity on campus. Operational changes will be communicated via RCM Notices so please continue to check your College email.

Twice-weekly and home- Covid-19 testing

The entire RCM community is strongly advised to participate in twice-weekly testing at one of many local testing centres or using home-testing kits available to all students and staff. 
 
For free home-testing kits delivered directly to your home address, order here. Home-testing kits can also be collected from the RCM cafe or a participating testing facility (the Ismaili Centre is the nearest to the RCM.) Prince Consort Village residents will receive their kits at PCV.
 
If you do not wish to self-administer home tests, then you must continue to be tested at the Ismaili Centre (or another local testing facility or the University of London.)

TESTING INSTRUCTIONS

  • Test yourself at home or visit a testing centre twice a week

If testing at home, you are asked to self-administer the test at least twice a week (every three to four days) and wait at home for a negative test result before coming to College. The tests are quick and simple and are provided with easy-to-follow instructions. You can watch video instructions here. Your test should be ready within 30 minutes.

  • Log all your test results

Each time you take a test, log the results using this simple form. Every test result (positive/negative/void) should be logged. You should log the result of your test whether you used the home-testing kit or were tested as a local facility such as the Ismaili Centre. Try to plan your week so that you take the test on the morning you plan to come to College and log it by 9am, unless you have taken a test in the previous few days. 

Complete the test results form

You should also report your test result to the NHS. You should report every result as soon as you get the result. To make this easier, set up an account so that you don’t need to register each time. You can register and report your results to the NHS here:

Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

What should I do if I have Covid-19 symptoms?

If you experience symptoms of Covid-19, you should take the following steps as promptly as possible:

If you think another student or member of staff might have symptoms, you should encourage them to do the same.

Complete Covid self-reporting form

1. ISOLATE

Government guidance requires that anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, or anyone who has received a positive test result, must self-isolate.

If a member of your household experiences symptoms or has a positive Covid-19 test, all members of that household must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they receive a negative test result and isolating is no longer necessary.

Those who have been in close contact with someone showing symptoms should also self-isolate if advised to do so by NHS Test & Trace, unless they receive a negative test result. Close contact means:

  • direct close contacts – face-to-face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 meter, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
  • proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 meters for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
  • travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person

2. NOTIFY

You must complete the RCM Covid self-reporting form.

This means we can take prompt action to request any additional cleaning, notify household members and provide support. This also means we will have early awareness of possible and confirmed cases, and can put in place additional measures if needed.

Complete Covid self-reporting form

3. TEST

If you think you have Covid-19, you should book a free test through the NHS. If you drive, you will be directed to the NHS drive-in testing facility. For those who do not drive, the NHS will mail you a self-testing kit.

You should continue isolating while waiting for your test results. Once you receive your result, log it using this simple form.

What do I do if I receive a positive result?

If at any point you receive a positive result, you must begin self-isolating immediately and arrange a confirmation test via the NHS. This NHS test will confirm your result. You must self-isolate at your term-time address for 10 days (or until you receive a negative result from your NHS test) and notify the RCM using the RCM COVID SELF-REPORTING FORM.

If I test positive, do I continue asymptomatic testing?

If you test positive for Covid-19 and have this result confirmed by an NHS test, you will be exempt from being retested within a period of 90 days from the test, unless you develop new possible Covid-19 symptoms. This is because fragments of inactive virus can be persistently detected by the swab test in the respiratory tract for some time following infection. If you are found to be positive for Covid-19 by swab test within 90 days from your initial illness onset, depending on your symptoms and advice from an infection specialist, you may need to self-isolate again.

I have been fully vaccinated – do I need to take these twice-weekly tests?

If you have received both vaccinations and are not experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, then you are exempt from the twice-weekly testing programme.

RCM buildings and services

RCM campus

  • The RCM campus is open for individual music-making and solo study, one-to-one instrument lessons, some faculty classes and ensemble rehearsals.
  • The RCM Library is open on weekdays between 1pm and 5pm.
  • Campus is open for educational activities between 8am and 10pm, six days a week.
  • You must only come to campus if you have a specific activity or room allocated in advance via Asimut.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times indoors, except when performing in an ensemble, during one-to-one lessons and for solo performers working with a pianist – providing two-metre distancing is maintained.
  • Always wash your hands on entering the building and regularly throughout your time on campus.
  • You must not socialise in groups in the indoor communal areas on campus. Groups of up to six can sit together in the outside café Courtyard.
  • If you feel unwell, you must stay at home. 
  • All practice rooms must be booked in advance via Asimut and performance spaces can be booked via P&P. Signs on the doors display the maximum occupancy of each room.
  • Please wipe down surfaces and pianos when leaving a practice room.
  • The buildings are subject to enhanced cleaning regimes and rooms are being ventilated via open windows and air conditioning which circulates air from outside.
  • Most professional services continue to operate and provide support remotely. 

The Royal College of Music has undertaken all necessary risk assessments for reopening the RCM, maintaining social distancing and other public safety measures.

Learning and teaching

One-to-one teaching, faculty classes and academic classes

  • Students can work with an accompanist on campus, although external accompanists are only allowed with prior agreement from P&P, V&O and Faculties Office.
  • Some live faculty classes and ensemble rehearsals are taking place on campus with social distancing in place.

Practical examinations

  • Summer term performance examinations will go ahead in person, with video submission options available for students who are unable to return to London.

Can I deliver one-to-one teaching, coaching or accompaniment in-person at my home?

Teaching, accompaniment and coaching in-person at home (or an alternative location) is not permitted. Technical support with virtual lessons is available from the RCM Digital Team; please email ICThelp@rcm.ac.uk.

Impact of operational changes on your work

Professional services staff  

Most professional services staff will continue to work from home, except where they are required on-site to facilitate students' return to campus and activities.

We expect more student-facing roles to return to on-site working from 8 March and staff who are needed on-site will be contacted by their line manager. If there is a specific reason to remain at home, this should be discussed with your line manager in the first instance. Our aim is to support and enhance the student experience as much as possible.

Academic staff

Whilst we encourage face-to-face teaching from 8 March, it is your choice and we will support you if you wish to continue teaching remotely for reasons relating to Covid-19 or you have been advised to work remotely on health grounds. Professors should notify their Heads of Faculty if this is the case before contacting their students directly to arrange to continue virtual lessons.

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. You will continue to be engaged to support teaching and learning across college 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.

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

The government is currently advising against all but essential international travel. ‘Essential travel’ includes travelling for educational or work purposes.

Whilst government measures require those arriving in, or returning to, the UK to complete are quarantine period, staff who travel overseas on leave 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.

Visit gov.uk for the latest advice on international travel

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. Staff are encouraged to continue to book and use annual leave throughout the year as normal.

In these exceptional circumstances and to support staff during this challenging time, we are allowing the number of hours equivalent to two working weeks to be carried over when the current leave period ends on 31 July 2021. For full time members of staff, two weeks equates to 70 hours.

If you carried over leave from 2019/20 and haven't used this in full, any remaining hours will count towards the total hours you may carry over to the 2021/22 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.

Support for you

  • 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.
  • 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

Contacts as follows

If you are an international student with questions or concerns about visas, please email the Registry international team at international@rcm.ac.uk for advice and support.

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Guidance for current students

Our latest information for senior College students 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

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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.

Read our guidance for visitors

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