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If you are a parent and wish to buy a musical instrument for your child and he or she is in full time education at a Local Education Authority school then you may be able to benefit from the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme.  The Scheme, which is fully authorised by HM Customs and Excise, makes it possible to buy a musical instrument through the school without having to pay VAT. Schools do not have to operate the scheme if they do not want to and are permitted to make a charge for administration if they wish to do so.
Some schools, other than state schools, are apparently also able to assist in the purchase of instruments without paying VAT and we have in fact dealt with one such school, a very well known public one, but we do not have any information on the conditions which apply to them.The pupil must be receiving tuition at the school as part of their curriculum, or privately in support of curricular activities, and the instrument should be appropriate to the pupil’s needs.


If your child qualifies then it is the school that buys the instrument (or outfit) and who pays us. They pay us the full price including VAT, after receiving from you the price excluding VAT and then they reclaim the VAT for themselves from Customs and Excise. We are entitled to the full price so if the school do not place an official order with us, you will be liable to us for the full price, so please be certain to come to agreement with the school before committing yourself.

Once it is decided to proceed, ask the school to send us an official order. When agreed, the instrument will be sent to the school since according to the rules of the scheme they should hand it over on school premises. We will send an invoice to the school with the instrument and they will then collect the amount due from you if they have not already done so. In due course we will receive their payment, and we will all be happy! Bows and cases can be provided this way too, in conjunction with an instrument. To work out the price excluding VAT, take the total price and divide by 1.2 For example, a Gama 2 violin retails at £600 which is £500 excluding VAT.



We have good experience of working with schools and will be happy to help if this facility is of benefit to you. Please note that working this in with having items on approval is likely to be difficult. Should you decide that you do not like the item, it is the school that will need to return it because it is the school that will have been invoiced.

The school will need to contact us either by email or by phone before your order can be processed. However we would of course be happy to discuss the purchase with you before you contact the school.