Back to top      

Guidance for staff

RCM crest
The RCM campus is open with social distancing measures in place for individual music-making, one-to-one teaching and small ensemble rehearsals and performances.

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.

From September 2020, our focus is on providing space for music-making activities on campus and in-person delivery of as many activities as possible. To support this, we have 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.

Our autumn events season features a range of performance opportunities with social distancing measures in place. The programme includes visits from internationally renowned musicians, a wide variety of repertoire to explore and an innovative film series promoted via the RCM’s digital platforms. Some performance projects will use blended approaches to learning with both live and digital interaction, harnessing all the additional benefits that online resources can bring. Our expanded programme of streaming and recording will allow us to share all 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. 

The content below reflects operational changes brought into effect on 15 March and further changes following nationwide Government instructions coming into effect on 14 September.

This page was last updated on 10 September 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 RCM campus is open for individual music-making (including with an accompanist), one-to-one teaching and small ensemble rehearsals and performances.
  • Campus is open to senior College students and professors between 8am and 11pm six days a week, and open to the RCM Junior Department only on Saturdays.
  • You must only come to campus if you have a specific activity or room allocated in advance via Asimut.
  • You must wear a facemask on entering the College, when moving around campus and in any spaces where two metre social distancing is not possible.
  • Always wash your hands on entering the building and regularly throughout your time on campus.
  • 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. 

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

Anyone returning from a country that is not on the UK exempt list must self-isolate at home for 14 days and must not, therefore, come into College until after the 14 days. The list of exempt countries can be found here.
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, or cold or flu symptoms, you must not come into the College. Call the NHS immediately on 111 and take a test. If you test positive, you will be contacted by NHS Track and Trace to track your contacts. 
Please also contact the College immediately to tell us you have tested positive and to report your recent contacts at the RCM – we will then contact them to ask them to self-isolate; email us at

Learning and teaching

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

  • The RCM campus is 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.
  • From Monday 10 August, you must wear a facemask in all public areas on campus, including teaching rooms where two metre social distancing is not possible.
  • Teaching and practice rooms must be booked in advance.
  • 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 are 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 autumn events season will include 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.

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

We will permit teaching from home (or an alternative location) for principal study lessons only for the autumn term in certain circumstances. Professors can only teach from home (or an alternative location) if they have advance approval from their Head of Faculty and if they have completed a risk assessment which shows that their non-RCM teaching space is Covid-secure.

  • Teaching from home will only be permitted where the professor lives within the London area (defined as Transport for London zones 1-6)
  • Timing of lessons must not clash with academic zones and must allow time for a student to travel to and from the College
  • Students must be willing to travel to the professor for lessons and must be willing to pay any travel costs
  • Some students may prefer a remote lesson; this must be their choice

If you would like to teach off-site you must contact your Head of Faculty and they will send you a form to complete. Any other teaching/coaching is not permitted from outside of the RCM.

If you have an underlying health condition that might prevent you from teaching at College, please contact your Head of Faculty.

Impact of operational changes on your work

Professional services staff  

  • We anticipate that most professional services staff will continue to work from home in the autumn.  
  • 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  

  • 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 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.


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 allowed 10 days of leave to be carried over when the leave period ended at the end of July 2020 – up from the usual five days. At the discretion of individual managers, this leave should be taken over the next two years.


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

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
  • 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
  • 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

Further questions

If we have not answered your question please email


Tick graphic

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

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.

Read our guidance for visitors

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