Financial assistance

Two violins, a viola, and a cello

Essex Music Service offers financial assistance for Instrument Hire and Instrumental Tuition for pupils learning with the Music Service who are from low income families, in receipt of Free School Meals or for Looked After Children. There is also financial assistance available to support the joining of various ensembles led by the Music Service.

Funding to provide discount is allocated from the Essex Music Hub grant. Once an application to our scheme has been accepted, it is able to be used for the whole academic year. Applications should only be made therefore once a year. Please note that if demand exceeds budget, applicants will be awarded support on a first-come-first-served basis.

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All applicants who believe that they qualify for Financial Assistance need to tick the box while completing their application for any of our provision. We will then liaise with internal teams to confirm your eligibility. We will then follow one of two approaches:

Automatic provision

Financial support will be awarded automatically for young people in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Children and Young people eligible for Free School Meals (Year 3 or above)
  • Young people who receive Pupil Premium funding support (evidence provided by school)
  • Young people who have received Pupil Premium funding support in the last 3 years. (evidence provided by school)

Where we have the internal evidence to award financial support, we will confirm this in email and all future invoices will be reduced by the correct amount as set out below.

Where we do not have the internal evidence to automatically award Financial Assistance, applicants will receive an email requesting further information to complete our means testing process.

Means tested provision

Financial support is awarded for parents/guardians in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit or any other benefit detailed below where Universal Credit is not in place
    • Child Tax Credit– providing that you receive more than the basic £545.34 per annum (excluding any childcare element)
    • Housing Benefit
    • Council Tax Support (not including second adult rebate)
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income support
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Pension Credit

Where the joint household income is less than £24,000, financial support will be offered.

To receive funding through the means testing process, we need to receive copies (images) of documentation from an official source outlining the benefits received by the applicant, for example a Universal Credit Monthly Award notice. This must be dated within the last 12 months.

Successful applicants will receive financial support in the following ways:

  • 66% reduction on in-school tuition fees
  • 66% reduction on fees at Community Music Centres (1 x package only)
  • 50% reduction on instrument hire scheme termly rental fees
  • 66% reduction on fees for County Music Groups workshops, courses and tours
  • 50% reduction for Band-It! small group Rock and Pop tuition fees and small group Learn It Together Beginner lessons

Please find more details of our financial assistance provision within our Financial Assistance Policy.

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Look After/Post-Looked After Children

Thanks to generous financial support provided from Essex Virtual School, we are also able to offer all Looked After and Post Looked After Children in Essex support to access our instrumental and vocal provision and to hire an instrument. Once Financial Assistance is awarded for LAC, this continues until the child is 18. There is an online application process, including the submission of our short application form for students in the following situations:

•  Looked After Children (LAC).
•  Children subject to a Special Guardianship Order (SGO).
•  Children subject to a Child Arrangement Order (CAO).
•  Children adopted from care.

Carers, social workers or teachers may apply on a young person’s behalf.

Successful applicants can then access the following provision:

• free individual or small group (10 weeks x 15mins per week per child per term) tuition in Essex schools with a Music Service tutor; or
• free individual or small group lessons (10 weeks x 15mins per week per child per term) tuition in one of our Essex Music Schools; or

• free Essex Music Service Community Music Centre lesson package, run out of school hours during evenings or Saturday mornings,

• free instrument hire (deposits are not discounted, but the delivery of the instrument to school would be free of charge)

• free membership of County Music Groups including attendance at workshops, courses and tours

Please note: For extra lesson time beyond 15 mins, and lessons on an additional instrument will be charged at the 66% discounted rate.

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