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15. Can I go home at weekends?

Our residential Music Weekends are a compulsory, and important, part of the curriculum. They often have specialised themes with guest tutors, e.g. media, creative musicianship, and groupwork skills, but there are also weekends with performance based activities such as concerts, recording, and tour rehearsals.  

The combination of musical activities and Residence staffing means that the Residence is open on a total of 13 weekends during the session, i.e. approximately one weekend in three, all of which are Music Weekends. Due to the fact that the concerts and rehearsal weekends cannot be evenly spread throughout the year, this does not mean that the Residence will be simply be open every third weekend. A calendar of Residence opening dates is issued at the Induction Week in June. 

This is a major consideration for anyone who wishes to attend the Centre, as provision will have to be made for these closed weekends. Obviously, you are able to go home if you so wish, but the feasibility of this depends on how far away your home is, and there are two main issues to take into consideration.

Firstly, long journeys on a weekend are very tiring. We have found in the past that even though, with the best will in the world, people want to get home, leaving here on a Friday afternoon to get home late on a Friday, spend Saturday at home and then do it all again on Sunday to get back here in time for Monday morning can be very hard going, and you may find that you get back here more tired than you were when you left!

The second issue is that it can be difficult to organise public transport to make a long journey after school finishes on the Friday, and public transport in Scotland can be expensive.

Since the current Residence opening times came into effect, it has become common practice for many of our students to stay in the Plockton area on the closed weekends, often at the bunkhouse at Nessun Dorma, local B&Bs or hotels, or friends’ houses. You should, however, be aware that the Bunkhouse is open to the public and no supervision is provided. Another possibility is to stay with a friend, either from the Music School or from High School, and a further common solution is that your parents and other family could visit you here.  There are lots of good hotels and B&Bs in the area, plenty to do, and many worse places to spend a weekend!

You must also be aware responsibility for your welfare on closed weekends does not rest with the Highland Council, and that it is your (and your parents’) responsibility to ensure that suitable accommodation has been arranged on these weekends. 

You are required to notify Residence staff of your weekend arrangements through the usual Residence permission procedures. Although we appreciate as much advance notice as possible, we are able to accept short notice changes by telephone or (preferably) e-mail, provided that the appropriate paperwork is received as soon as possible afterwards.

For the purpose of clarification, a “closed weekend” lasts from 2:00 p.m. on a Friday, when the Residence closes, until 1:30 p.m. on a Sunday, when the Residence re-opens.

In the interests of the safety and welfare of our students, and the reputation of the Centre and the Residence, failure to arrange suitable accommodation on a closed weekend has been incorporated into the Centre’s Disciplinary Code, and treated as a serious offence, with the standard penalties of three days’ exclusion or a first offence, one week’s exclusion for a second, and withdrawal of the place for a third offence.

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