COVID Secure - Jackdaws

As part of our commitment to the safety and well-being of our staff, colleagues and participants, we are working under new operating guidelines in compliance with the latest UK Government recommendations. Social distancing and the additional health and safety requirements will have a material impact on you and how our courses operate.

Please take some time to read the following information.

We will be able to run our courses as the venue is Covid secure with risk mitigation in place and it is an organised activity. It is vital however that participants adhere to the social distancing and other mitigating measures we have put in place at all times, and also to note that this is not a social activity.

Risk Assessment

We have completed a government mandated Risk Assessment, produced in line with the specific government guidance, which follows the UK Government’s steps to operating safely. We recommend you familiarise yourself with this document ahead of coming to Jackdaws. Please note that this is an ever-evolving document, as government guidelines and operating experience influence our approach.

Jackdaws Covid-19 Risk Assessment

We have been awarded AA Covid Confident Accreditation

What you need to know before coming to Jackdaws

We will be undertaking a phased reopening which demonstrates a deliberate approach, with some limits on total numbers attending courses, to align with guidance on social distancing. We have carried out a thorough Risk Assessment for operating courses at Jackdaws. We are committed to doing our part and we need your help as we work together to focus on safety. Our policies are under continuous review and are subject to change as we monitor the situation and the guidance from health and government authorities is updated.

To prepare for your visit please read our guidelines for visitors coming to Jackdaws below.

(NB This does not replace the need to read the detailed Risk Assessment document which we recommend you do prior to arrival.) 

What we are doing to ensure that you can safely attend and enjoy your course at Jackdaws

How will the courses happen?

Courses will take place in our large, well ventilated studio to allow for adequate social distancing and there will be limits on course participant numbers. There will be clear signage onsite directing you where and how to move around. Sessions for singing and wind courses may be adapted to allow for additional ventilation time.

Supper: 6.30pm
Session 1: 8-9.30pm

Session 2: 10-11am
Coffee: 11-11.30
Session 3: 11.30-1pm
Lunch: 1-2.30pm
Session 4: 2.30-4pm
Tea:  4-4.30pm
Session 5: 4.30-6pm
Dinner: 6.30-8pm

Session 6: 10-11am
Coffee: 11-11.30
Session 7: 11.30-1pm
Lunch: 1-2pm
Session 8: 2-4pm possible concert within the group (no additional audience)

Should I take a lateral flow test before coming to Jackdaws?

Yes please, we are requesting that all course attendees take a test the day before or day of travelling to us. They are readily available and can be ordered online. All onsite Jackdaws staff will be taking them before courses as well. While not infallible this is a very easy way to help keep the groups attending safer.

How will you ensure piano and other equipment hygiene?

Piano stools will be wiped down daily. Special care of our pianos will follow expert guidance. Pianists should please wash/sanitise hands carefully before and after playing each time. Sanitiser gel will be available in each room.

There will be screens available to set up between the piano and the participants in the front row to further protect the tutor and group.

You will be issued with a chair and small table set up appropriately distanced in the studio on arrival, which will be “yours” for the course. We recommend you bring a blanket or fleece for when the studio is adequately ventilated on cooler days.

What is the general cleaning/hygiene regime?

We are asking everyone who attends a course to do a lateral flow test prior to travelling to Jackdaws.

We will ask all participants to wash/sanitise their hands at arrival points.

There will be no entrance into the kitchen apart from the cooks.

Sanitiser gel will be available in all rooms. There will be a deep clean on the day prior to the courses and a frequent  pattern during the courses of surface cleaning, including all entrance doors, door handles and push points, light switches, staircase handrails.

What will happen about my Accommodation or B&B booking?

Accommodation will be arranged in  B&B’s that have completed a risk assessment to our satisfaction, some Jackdaws Host rooms are also available now. You can also choose to book your own. All rooms will be ensuite or have sole use of a bathroom. Please bear in mind that sharing cars with other participants may carry extra risk.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

We are asking people to wear a mask when moving around the building. You may remove your face covering when sitting and to eat, drink and sing/ play as social distancing measures mean the risk is mitigated in line with the guidance.

Please bring a face covering with you and any additional PPE and hand sanitiser that you feel you need (for example, if you have any skin allergies or as extra personal protection).

Please note some people will be exempt from wearing face coverings.

What’s going to happen at meal times?

For as long as social distancing is advised, meals will NOT be served at communal tables as usual.  You will collect your lunch and your dinner, on a tray with everything required on it, from a collection table in the dining room, one person at a time. You can then eat it at your table in the studio, or in the garden if the weather is suitable.

Breakfast will not be provided at Jackdaws.

What’s going to happen at break times?

You will be advised to leave the studio space so it can be aired. Our cook will pour and serve your drinks and cakes as required. Please consume in the garden if the weather is suitable  or use the rooms in the house, with no more than one-two people in each room as shown on signage, in order to maintain social distancing

Will wine be available?

No, not for the time being. But if you would like to bring your own that is possible however we will not be able to store it for you.

What happens if the alert level has been raised and there is a local lockdown or increased restrictions that mean the course cannot happen at Jackdaws?

If we are unable to run a course onsite because of changing government guidelines or there is a local lockdown, the course will, if possible, move to become a “Jack IN daws” online course, in which many of our tutors are by now very experienced. There will be a fee reduction to acknowledge the difference in provision and you will have the option to withdraw with a full refund. If it is not possible/feasible to do this then the course may be postponed or cancelled, as may also happen if there are not enough people to make it viable.

If enhanced local Covid restrictions are imposed on the area you will be travelling from, or if you will return from a country on the Government’s red/amber list within 10 days of your course start date, then please let us know as soon as possible and do not travel to Jackdaws. In the case of local restrictions preventing travel, we will arrange a transfer of your fee to another course or a refund as applicable.

I feel unwell prior to my visit.  What should I do?

Prior to your stay with us, should you feel unwell or develop symptoms of COVID-19, please do not travel to Jackdaws. You will be able to transfer your fee to another course or receive a credit note valid for a year.

I feel unwell during my stay.  What should I do?

Should you feel unwell or develop symptoms of COVID-19 during your stay, you should self-isolate in your bedroom and notify the house manager on 01373 812772 and call 111 for advice.

My course is taking place as planned because it is considered safe to do so, but I do not want to attend because of COVID-19. What will happen to my payment?

If you decide not to attend due to COVID-19, we will happily transfer your payment to a future course free of charge or issue a credit note to be used within one year.

We appreciate that many of you will be nervous about travelling, staying and participating in a group activity. We are taking every measure we can to mitigate any risk to you or our team

The best way to support Jackdaws, our staff and musicians going forward is to book on a course, and enjoy the benefits of a wonderful Jackdaws experience.

If you have any questions or we can help you at all please do email us at

You will need to confirm you have read this document and agree with the measures in place before attending a course.