An independent review of safeguarding policies and procedures at the Royal Academy of Music has been launched, following complaints made by students about the inappropriate behaviour of staff.
Website Slipped Disc previously reported that about 15 students had made complaints about the behaviour of staff at the college, but were frustrated by the lack of response from management.
In a statement, the academy said: “The safety and well-being of students is of paramount importance to the Royal Academy of Music and we strive to create an atmosphere of respect, dignity, inclusivity and equality. Our student welfare provision is at the heart of what we do, as demonstrated by the exceptional team of tutors and professional staff working hard to ensure its delivery.”
The statement added: “The governing body of the academy decided at its recent board meeting to commission an independent review of our safeguarding policies and procedures, including how we deal with complaints. The review provides an opportunity to further strengthen measures to ensure the safety and well-being of students and to address any areas where more needs to be done. The voice of students will play a critical part during this process.”
Earlier this month, the college announced the resignation of its head of opera department, Gareth Hancock. The resignation followed Glyndebourne’s decision to not renew its contract with Hancock for 2020, following a complaint of inappropriate behaviour by a member of staff.
“In October 2019, an employee brought a complaint of inappropriate behaviour by Gareth Hancock to Glyndebourne’s HR department, which immediately alerted senior management and launched an internal investigation.
“During the investigation, clear evidence of inappropriate behaviour from Gareth Hancock came to light, and Glyndebourne took the decision to withdraw his 2020 contract. No further evidence of similar behaviour towards other employees has come to light” a statement said.
Hancock was contracted to the role of assistant conductor on the Glyndebourne Festival 2020 production of Dialogues des Carmélites next summer.
According to the Royal Academy of Music, a chair has been appointed to carry out its review, but the “terms of reference are still being finalised”.
“This information will be made available, along with the name of the chair, as soon as it is confirmed,” it added.
Last month the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland announced a review into its complaints procedure following allegations of discrimination from students.