Music Service - frequently asked questions | Oxfordshire County Council

Music Service - frequently asked questions

Common questions relating to the Music Service, including paying invoices

Invoices

What if I disagree with the amount charged?

Please raise your query by completing the form at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/musicinvoicequery before submitting your payment. Please do not make deductions for missed lessons without contacting the Music Service. 

Can I claim remission of Music Service charges?

Remission of fees can only be given to parents/carers of children who are eligible for Free School Meals. Please email music.service@oxfordshire.gov.uk and provide your full name, date of birth and National Insurance Number. We are now able to check eligibility directly with the Free School Meals hub.

If you do not qualify for remission of fees but are having serious temporary financial difficulties, please write to the Principal Finance Officer at the address overleaf marking the envelope ‘Strictly Confidential’ or email music.service@oxfordshire.gov.uk marking the email for his attention.

Can I pay the charge on my invoice to the music teacher? 

No – teachers are not permitted to handle money or cheques. Details about how to pay are listed on the invoice.  The easiest way is to pay online.  You will need to quote your invoice number and post code as shown on the invoice. You cannot pay online or by phone until 24 hours have passed from receipt of invoice.

What if my child’s group size changes?

Charges will not increase termly if the group size reduces.  Upward changes will be made annually at the end of the Summer Term.  If the group size increases, charges will be changed to the lower rate from the date of change. The Music Service contacts its customers in August to advise the new charge from September.

Contact your child's teacher

Please contact your child’s teacher through the record book, which has the space to write notes and comments. The record book also has all of the teaching week dates of the current school year located on the back cover. Teachers can also be contacted via their Oxfordshire email address usually set up as  firstname.lastname @oxfordshire.gov.uk or call the office for more precise details.

Missed lessons

School Inset, exams, trips, controlled assessments

You are still liable for payment, although teachers will try to reschedule lessons where possible and where parents have tried to point out the clash in advance of the lesson by contacting the teacher.

Other pupil absence

You are still liable for payment. A reduction will be considered if long-term sickness means your child cannot attend lessons.

Teacher absence

Oxfordshire County Music Service will offer 34 lessons during the academic year 2016/17. If a teacher misses a lesson, they will try to make it up before the end of the academic year. If this has not been possible, you will receive a refund after the end of the academic year (not at the end of each term), either as a cheque or a reduction on your next invoice. (Cheque refunds of less than £5 cannot be issued)

How should hired instruments be returned?

Instruments should be handed personally to the instrumental teacher at the end of the final lesson. They should not be left in school unless by arrangement.

Ensembles and Area Music Centres

There are a number of ensembles and Area Music Centres across the county for pupils of all standards.  There is a list of these activities in the Record Book or details can be found www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/musicgroups.  There is a charge for these activities. 

Stopping tuition

How and when can I cancel lessons?

Written notice is required (letter, email, fax, or form provided in your child’s Record Book). It must be sent to the Oxfordshire County Music Service (address below) and NOT via your instrumental teacher or with your payment (your payment is not sent to the Music Service office).

Notice must be received by:

  • 31 October to stop at the end of the Autumn term  i.e. at Christmas
  • 28 February to stop at the end of the Spring term i.e.  at Easter
  • 31 May to stop at the end of the Summer term i.e. at the end of the school year

Notice without a financial penalty can only take effect by the above dates in each term to activate cancellation for the following term.  Failure to give notice by the necessary date will incur a late cancellation fee of £30. We always reply to cancellation requests so please contact us if you have not received a reply within 2 weeks of the above cancellation dates.

What if my child is transferring from primary to secondary school?

Transfer will generally be automatic; notice and re-enrolment is not required. You must still send written notice if you wish to cancel lessons and this must be received at the Music Service office by the appropriate date. Unless advised to the contrary, the Music Service will assume that lessons/group memberships will continue. When starting secondary school, students need to check music department notice boards to find out when and where their lessons will be.

What if my child is transferring to a private school?

The appropriate notice is still required.

What if my child is leaving at the end of year 11?

You must still send written notice if you wish to cancel lessons and this must be received at the Music Service office by the appropriate date. Unless advised to the contrary, the Music Service will assume that tuition will continue.

What if my child is leaving at the end of year 13?

Lessons/ensemble memberships will be cancelled at the end of year 13. If you wish tuition or group membership to continue, for example if the pupil is remaining in Oxfordshire for a gap year, please contact the Music Service office to arrange this.

What if I do not know what my situation will be in the immediate future?

Notify us at the earliest opportunity, and preferably BEFORE the appropriate cancellation date. We may be able to make alternative arrangements so that tuition can continue.

What if I move house?

For moves within Oxfordshire, efforts will be made to transfer lessons, but this cannot be guaranteed.  Please let us know if you’re moving home as soon as you know and tell us your new address.  Your child’s school will NOT pass on changes in personal details to us.  If moving out of the area, normal notice to cancel lessons will apply (apart from Forces families).

What about membership of Ensembles and Music Centres?

Group membership may be cancelled without penalty up until the beginning (first day) of the school term after which a late cancellation charge of £30 will apply. When writing to cancel tuition or group membership, it is very important to say whether or not all activities are being cancelled. Cancellation should always be made in writing. Emails are acceptable and provide you with a record of receipt.

Last reviewed
30 June 2017
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