COVID Secure - Jackdaws

Our aim at Jackdaws in these changing times is to mitigate risk where possible. As part of our commitment to the safety and well-being of our staff, colleagues and participants, we are working under operating guidelines in compliance with the current 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.

There is no need to check in via track and trace anymore, but we will still be asking you to do a lateral flow test before travelling to us, if possible. If you test positive or have symptoms please do not travel to us, we will arrange for you to transfer to another course or give you a credit note.

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 are now re-open and following Government guidance in order to operate safely. We have carried out a thorough Risk Assessment for operating courses at Jackdaws. We are committed to mitigating the risk to our staff and participants and we need your help as we work together to safely deliver our courses. 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.

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 some 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, if possible. They are now available to purchase in shops and 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 regularly. 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 are screens available to set up between the piano and the participants in the front row to be used at the course leader’s discretion.

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 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 more regular cleaning during the courses.

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.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

Although masks are no longer mandatory, we would appreciate it if you would wear a mask when moving around the buildings still, unless you have a formal exemption.

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).

What’s going to happen at meal times?

As restrictions have now been relaxed we are returning to eating at shared tables in the dining room. Places at the tables will be well spaced and the Cook will served the meals.

If social distancing is advised again, meals would not be served at communal tables, but would be served individually on a tray; to be eaten at your table in the studio, or in the garden if the weather is suitable.

Breakfast is not 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.

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?

In the event that this course is unable to take place in person as advertised because of Covid restrictions nationally or locally, we aim, where feasible, to provide alternative provision/rescheduled dates. We will keep you informed of any changes and you will also have the option to withdraw your place and receive a full refund, or transfer it to another course within the same season. If it is not possible/feasible to do either of these then the course may be 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 test positive 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 may still be nervous about travelling, staying and participating in a group activity. We are taking measures 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.