Student looking at books on shelves
At RCMJD we understand there can be unexpected emergencies, illnesses and timetable clashes.

We operate a fair policy regarding absenteeism, which is designed to ensure the best education for our students, including those in ensembles who may be adversely affected by the repeated absence of their fellow musicians.

Student absence

Students at the RCMJD commit to attending 30 weeks of timetabled musical activity per year. In addition, they may be required to attend additional individual lessons, rehearsals and concerts on our three make-up days (week 11 of each term) and occasional concerts on Sundays/weekdays.

We expect all students to attend RCMJD every term-time Saturday (including on week 11 make-up days if required), and to follow their full programme of musical activities. However, we realise that there might be the odd occasion when they cannot attend, eg owing to an essential school commitment or significant family event.

If a student needs to be absent for anything other than illness, their parent/guardian must submit an absence request, stating the reason for the absence, to the JD office in writing (by emailing jd@rcm.ac.uk) at least 4 weeks in advance of the absence. If absence is approved by the JD team, they will notify teachers, though as a courtesy students/parents should remind them a few days beforehand too. Please note that teachers/tutors cannot provide authorisation for absence.

If a student is ill and can’t get to RCMJD (including on make up days) their parent/guardian must inform the JD office by email (jd@rcm.ac.uk) or phone (020 7591 4334). They should leave a voicemail message explaining the situation if they are unable to speak directly to a member of RCMJD admin staff).

If a JD assessment, competition or other additional schedule activity clashes with a student’s usual timetable (though we try to avoid this where possible) they may presume that this takes priority over the student’s usual Saturday timetable. Schedules of assessments/competitions will be published via the JD noticeboards, but it is also expected that the student will also excuse themselves to their teachers/tutors in advance.

For information regarding partial absences, late arrivals/early departures, and absences for those taking school exams, please see RCMJD’s full Absence Policy here.

Teacher absence

Use of Deputies: Occasionally it is necessary for teachers to use deputies: it is understood that this will be kept to a minimum, and that deputies will be drawn from a list approved by the Head of Junior Programmes.

Make-up Day (usually the eleventh Saturday of each term) is used by teachers who have missed lessons without providing a deputy, to make up their quota of lessons. Students are expected to be available for lessons on this date if required.

Please note that teachers are not obliged to make-up lessons for which a student is absent; any lessons made up in these circumstances will be at the teacher’s discretion.

JD teachers are contracted to give 30 lessons per year. If you believe that you have not received your full allocation of lessons during an academic year, you must please first discuss this directly with the teacher concerned. Only after that should you contact the JD office.

Get in touch

If you need to tell us about the planned or unexpected absence of an RCMJD student please get in touch. If you have concerns about the number of teaching hours received please first discuss with the teacher concerned and then contact the RCMJD office if necessary.

We would recommend emailing the team in the first instance. If you would prefer to speak to someone instead, please call the number below.

RCM Junior Department

General enquiries

+44(0)20 7591 4334 (11am-3pm Tues to Fri)


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