Just in: Stubborn Royal Academy is forced to pay lecturer £186,181.00

Just in: Stubborn Royal Academy is forced to pay lecturer £186,181.00


norman lebrecht

March 07, 2019

Settlement has just been announced at the Central London tribunal in the unfair dismissal case brought by Dr Francesca Carpos against the Royal Academy of Music.

Dr Carpos was fired from her teaching post for allegedly referring to violinists as ‘gypos’.

She has just been awarded £186,181.00 after the Royal Academy of Music fought the case all the way.



  • Penny says:

    Serves the RA right for being so stupid.

  • John Borstlap says:

    That is a higher fee for a word than any writer can ever aspire to.

  • Terence says:

    The price of perceived political correctness.

    And would they dared dismiss her if she were BAME?

    • Harry.Collier says:

      What on earth is BLAME? A transvestite? A vegan? Please do not use mystic acronyms. Use plain English.

      • Terence says:


        Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (used to refer to members of non-white communities in the UK).

        From Oxford English Dictionary

        No apologies for using this, we are bombarded with American terms.

      • Maria says:

        Yes, what is a BLAME and what is a gypos?

  • Frigging A! Amazing woman 1, snowflakes 0.

  • Richard Winch says:

    I believe she was making a legitimate reference to gypsy violinist that one finds entertaining in certain parts of Europe. I’m glad she won. Political correctness gone mad!

  • Alex Davies says:

    Clearly the RAM acted unlawfully. That being the case, payment of damages is appropriate. However, I still don’t understand why she thought that it was a good idea to circulate the document. Protocol dictates that one would only circulate something like that to one’s own students.

    Also, anyone who’s seen the document in question will know that it was pretty shoddily put together. The gypos comment, among others, could have been better expressed. For example, she could have said, ‘During the course of my research orchestral musicians reported that the following terms, some of which may be considered offensive, were used to describe different sections of the orchestra.’

    • norman lebrecht says:

      She was ordered to circulate it by her superiors.

      • Alex Davies says:

        I apologise if that is the case, but I have definitely read elsewhere that the RAM deemed her use of the facility to email all students to be ‘unauthorized’. Perhaps the fault, in that case, lies with her line manager, if she was asked to do something that was authorized by somebody in a junior managerial role but which was opposed by the senior management.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Err…are you sure? It seems unlikely that she would have been “ordered” to circulate her teaching notes to students she is not teaching, and certainly not something like that.

  • Former RAM Lecturer says:

    Serves the arrogant, ignorant, out of touch Royal Academy of Music for thinking they could easily dismiss one of the most inspiring lecturers they have ever had the luck of employing. How dreadful for Dr Carpos in the meantime, having to deal with the silly stupid management at this out of touch training school. Thank goodness the employment Judge & Tribunal saw sense & awarded Dr Carpos due compensation for her stress & anxiety whilst fighting this case. The Governors and Jonathan Freemen Attwood, Principal should apologise, and be brought to account for their shameful arrogant behaviour and appalling attitude.

  • West End Gypo (oops, Violinist) says:

    As a string player in West End shows, we were always known as gypsies or Gipos in the band, presumably derived from the violin players in Eastern Europe, where all fiddlers are known ( still, often affectionately, and irrespective of them playing classical, light or folk music) as Gypos. The RAM are out of touch with reality if they took offence so easily to this slang term which is still evident in the UK profession. Have the RAM management also taken offence to the common useage now of musos to describe all the students they teach and who are taught there? Musos is the common term (derived from Australian slang) now universally used. Come on all you Conservatoires of Music – get off your high horses and enter the 21st century and the music profession (Industry it’s now also referred as).

    • Julius Bannister says:

      pit players in the West End were also known as Pit Ponies (for they never saw the light of day)

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Um…just because they are known as “gypos” does not mean they should be.

      There are many other terms which were once common, but now we don’t use because they are deemed offensive: “Nig**rs” “Y*ds” “P*k*s” etc. Any organisation can, legitimately, suggest such terms are avoided where possible.

      In this case RAM failed to understand the difference between calling someone “a gypo” and explaining that others often used the phrase.

  • On The Square says:

    Maybe it could be helpful to repeat my comment on this blog of November 13, 2017?

    Now that her name is out [Francesca Carpos], it is hard not to double check, via Google. As it happens it turns out she presented an academic paper in 2014 which “revealed that her research showed 43 out of 45 orchestra fixers she interviewed were men, mostly freemasons”.

    So maybe there is more to this story. Just saying.