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Guidance for staff

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Face-to-face teaching and other 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. At least until the end of September, the RCM community is expected to participate in free twice-weekly testing using home-testing kits available to all students and staff or at one of many local testing centres.

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 expecting all staff and students to wear facemasks when moving around the building and when in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. 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 19 July 2021.

This page was last updated on 3 August 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, RCM Junior Department 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.

If there are 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

At least until the end of September, the RCM community is expected to participate in free twice-weekly testing using home-testing kits available to all students and staff or at one of many local testing centres.
 
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).

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

You should 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)

If you receive a positive test result, you should also report your test result to the RCM using the form below. You should log a positive test result 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

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.

From 16 August, the government will not require close contacts of someone who tests positive to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. This is a big bonus to being fully vaccinated, meaning your studies and social life will not be interrupted if you are fully vaccinated.

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.

If I am fully vaccinated, will I need to self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus?

From 16 August, the government will not require close contacts of someone who tests positive to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. This is a big bonus to being fully vaccinated, meaning your studies and social life will not be interrupted if you are fully vaccinated.

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

Even if you are fully vaccinated, we ask you take regular lateral flow tests at least until the end of September.

RCM buildings and services

RCM campus

  • From 19 July, room capacities at the College returned to normal and we plan to deliver all programmes on-site at the College as normal from September.
  • The RCM’s Summer vacation extends from Monday 19 July 2021 to Friday 10 September 2021. During this period some of the College’s facilities will have reduced opening hours:
  • Prince Consort Road: Open from 8am – 10pm every day
  • Library: Open Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 5pm
  • ICT Helpdesk: Open Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm with limited remote support available
  • RCM Café: Open Monday to Friday from 9am – 3pm
  • RCM Studios: Closed between 1 August and 1 September apart from pre-arranged sessions
  • RCM Jay Mews: Closed
  • Please note that the SCR Café will be closed throughout the Summer period. Furthermore, on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August the Library, Digital helpdesk and RCM Café will all be closed.
  • Face coverings are expected to be worn whilst indoors, especially whilst moving around.
  • If anyone in a teaching or working situation prefers one or both of you to be masked, we expect both parties to always respect this preference.
  • Always wash your hands on entering the building and regularly throughout your time on campus, using soap and water or hand sanitiser.
  • Meet in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open.
  • If you feel unwell, you must stay at home.
  • 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.

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

  • From September, we expect the curriculum to be fully in-person for practical activities, including lessons, faculty classes, and ensemble rehearsals.
  • Most academic classes will be delivered in person too. However, in response to positive feedback, we have redesigned some elements of the BMus Historical Studies curriculum to be delivered in a blended format.
  • We expect our Performance Programme to be fully in operation, with concerts and performances to live audiences. These will include all our usual ensembles – orchestras, chorus, opera, along with faculty ensembles, chamber and solo performances.
  • Students can work with accompanists on campus and external accompanists are allowed without applying for permission.

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.

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

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 if 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