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Terms & Conditions

This web document sets out the terms and conditions for tuition by Tees Valley Music Service.

Please read these terms carefully and contact us if you have any queries.

1. LESSONS (In-person)​

  1. All pupils must be registered with TVMS to receive tuition (with or without instrument hire), or membership of a band, orchestra or choir. This ensures that appropriate safety and safeguarding measures are in place and that our service is fair to all.

  2. Any change of address or contact information must be updated on your Speedadmin account, for which you will have received a secure login. This information is vital if your child is part of a band, orchestra or choir or out of school activity as this will provide contact details in the event of any emergency.

  3. The 38-week academic year is September to July. We aim to offer a minimum of 30 lessons per academic year. Lesson numbers are reduced pro rata if a registration is received part way through the academic year.

  4. A lesson will not be offered every week as some weeks are dedicated to workshops and staff ensembles in schools, training for TVMS staff/teachers and instrumental/vocal examinations. In general, this may work out as an average of 2-3 lessons a month, meaning some months there may be less lessons than others over the full 38 week academic year.

  5. TVMS will provide a progress report to pupils receiving tuition during the academic year.

  6. Lessons are subject to change depending on group size and pupils’ length of

    learning. Lessons are 20 minutes for beginners and 30 minutes all others unless otherwise specified.

  7. Lessons offered during the school day will usually involve pupils being withdrawn from their

    normal school classes. Times and dates for lessons in schools are arranged to fit in with both

    the school and TVMS teacher’s timetable.

  8. A rota may be put in place to avoid pupils missing the same core school lesson each week.

    In this event, details of times/days will be displayed on the school notice board. It is the

    pupils’ responsibility to check this.

  9. TVMS Staff are not responsible for escorting pupils to and from lessons, and are only

    responsible for pupils during their actual tuition time.

  10. Taster tuition will be offered for a minimum of 5 weeks. If your child does not attend all 5

    lessons there is no refund of fees.

  11. If you do not wish to continue tuition after the taster 5 weeks it is your responsibility to

    cancel the tuition with TVMS (not with the school or teacher) before the 5 weeks conclude to avoid future charges. After this point the tuition will automatically transfer to ‘Beginner status’ and our standard Charging, Cancellation and Refund Policy and Standard Terms and Conditions will apply.

  12. Tuition may be withdrawn in the event of disruptive or anti-social behaviour by either the pupil or parent/carer or poor attendance of the pupil. No credit will be available in these circumstances.

  13. Lessons will continue term-on-term and year-on-year, even when a child transfers to secondary school, until written notice is received at TVMS office to advise us of your decision to cancel lessons. Our teachers are not office-based so we will advise the teacher of your decision at the earliest possible opportunity. Please email tvms@tvms.org.uk to receive an acknowledgement of your cancellation request. Alternatively send a letter to TVMS, Frederick Nattrass Centre, Swale Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS20 1BY. Account payers will be liable to pay instalments until the end of the term in which we received your written cancellation. If you cancel tuition and the target number of lessons have been offered you will be required to pay instalments to the end of the academic year, even if your child does not attend.


2. LESSONS (via Zoom)​

  1. Zoom Individual tuition is delivered online via Zoom only and will be delivered at the pre-agreed time/date, which could be day or evening time.

  2. Zoom Individual lesson timings may be altered but only with agreement of both account holder and teacher.

  3. Zoom Individual lessons will have 3 months of instrument hire free of charge, if required. Instrument hire will be charged at the standard instalment rate thereafter.

  4. Zoom Individual hired instruments will be delivered/returned to TVMS or a local school within the Tees Valley area, subject to prior notification. Standard Terms and Conditions will apply to the hire of TVMS instruments to all students/account holders.

  5. There is no applicable discount of fees for students learning under the Zoom Individual course, including any instrument hire.

  6. Zoom Individual students under 18 years will require a parental signed Zoom Consent to be completed and returned to TVMS. This will be emailed to the registered email account when the registration is received and processed by TVMS. Tuition cannot start without this signed consent form due to Safeguarding Policy.

     

3. MEMBERSHIPS

  1. Membership of Premier Ensembles involves a commitment for the whole year. Membership and benefits may be withdrawn at any time if a student defaults on attendance at rehearsals and concerts/events.

  2. Memberships of all ensembles/bands/choirs will continue term-on-term and year-on-year, even when a child transfers to secondary school, until written notice is received at TVMS office to advise us of your decision to cancel membership. Our teachers are not office-based so we will advise the teacher of your decision at the earliest possible opportunity. Please email tvms@tvms.org.uk to receive an acknowledgement of your cancellation request. Alternatively send a letter to TVMS, Frederick Nattrass Centre, Swale Road, Stockton-on- Tees, TS20 1BY. Account payers will be liable to pay instalments until the end of the term in which we received your written cancellation. No refund will be given for ensemble fees.

  3. Any pupil returning to TVMS activities after leaving school will be required to register for our Alumni. This ensures members receive regular updates and information regarding their membership. Membership fee is detailed in our Charging Policy. Registration must take place through your SpeedAdmin account.

5. CHARGING POLICY

  1. Pupils new to music tuition are given ‘taster’ time with their chosen instrument/vocal tutor. This is subject to group viability and instruments available. During this taster time (minimum 5 lessons in two months) account holders can ‘opt out’ of the taster time and cancel any future lessons. Account holders wanting to cancel MUST write/email directly to TVMS Support (tvms@tvms.org.uk) to avoid future charges being applied as per the cancellation policy. Taster tuition (and instrument hire if needed) requires TWO fee instalments.

  2. ‘Beginner’ Tuition applies only for tuition up to one year in small groups (4+) 20 minute lessons (including vocal lessons) – 11 monthly instalments of £16.90. This automatically follows on from the Taster time unless cancelled by account holders. See Cancellation Policy for further information.

  3. ‘Continuing’ Tuition for pupils from the second year onwards only (including vocal) small groups 30 minute lessons – 11 monthly instalments of £23.50. This automatically follows on from the Beginner Tuition unless cancelled by account holders. See Cancellation Policy for further information.

  4. ‘Individual’ Tuition 30 (instrumental or vocal) only as an individual lesson (subject to availability) 30 minute lessons - 11 monthly instalments of £43.60. This lesson is delivered face to face when possible.

  5. ‘Individual’ Tuition 20 (instrumental or vocal) only as an individual lesson (subject to availability) 20 minute lessons - 11 monthly instalments of £35.50. This lesson is delivered face to face when possible.

  6. ‘Paired’ Tuition only (instrumental or vocal) as a duo (subject to availability and teacher discretion) 30 minute lessons – 11 monthly instalments of £32.50. This lesson is delivered face to face where possible.

  7.   ‘Adult’ Tuition only (instrument or vocal) age 18+ (subject to availability) - £49.00. This lesson is delivered face to face where possible.

  8. Zoom Individual tuition only (instrumental or vocal) as an individual lesson (subject to availability) 20 or 30 minutes lessons – 11 monthly instalments of £43.50 which equates to £15.95 per lesson. Digital lesson delivered remotely via Zoom or equivalent.

  9. Instrument hire monthly flat rate to be added to tuition rates (if hire required) - 11 monthly instalments of £9.00. Those on Zoom lessons will pay monthly instrument hire after the initial free 3 month hire.

    Membership of all TVMS bands, orchestras and choirs as well as access to Theory Lessons is currently included in the above tuition fees.
     

  10. Area band, orchestra and choir membership only - 11 monthly instalments of £9.00

  11. Premier ensemble membership only - 11 monthly instalments of £17.00

  12. It is not possible to hire a TVMS instrument for ensemble only membership, regardless of level.

  13. Pupils eligible for Income Based Discount are entitled to a 50% discount to the above fees, including instrument hire and area ‘ensemble only’ membership. Remission discount does not apply to Premier ensemble only membership.

  14. If you are entitled to Income Based Discount of fees you must include proof of current evidence of entitlement. Full fees will be due until valid evidence is received. Claims cannot be backdated. Evidence of claims can be uploaded via your secure login when registering on SpeedAdmin https://ukteesvalley.speedadmin.dk/

  15. A sibling discount of 25% will be applied to tuition fees if you have more than one child registered with TVMS. There is no discount on instrument hire or ensemble only fees for second and subsequent children. There is also a discount of 25% offered for second instrument tuition only. There will be no discount available for subsequent instrument/vocal tuition after this. Sibling and activity discount will be applied to the least valued charge. For example - Individual tuition will be at full cost, discount will be applied to beginner tuition, regardless of which activity registered first. There is no discount for Zoom Individual lessons or instrument hire.

  16. All discounts are capped at 50% subsidy for account holders of pupils 18 or under and in education who are entitled to Income Based Discount of fees. There is no discount of fees for adult or zoom lessons and their associated instrument hire (if applicable).

  17. All tuition, instrument hire and ensemble-only registrations are charged at 11 monthly instalments per academic year.

  18. Alumni Membership for past members and family. Membership is charged at £5.00 per annum, which is automatically renewed annually each September regardless of what month you registered initially.

  19. TVMS reserves the right to change Terms and Conditions at any time. You will be advised at least 1 month in advance of any changes to monthly instalments. If the size of your child’s group lesson reduces to one or two pupils, the respective charging rates will apply one month from the TVMS office being informed of this change.

  20. Once pupils enter Year 12, Year 13 and /or Year 14 tuition at sixth form/college, our music and vocal tuition will be delivered as individual 30 minute sessions to pupils.

  21. This TVMS Charging Policy applies to all instrumental and vocal tuition, instrument hire and ensemble memberships provided by the service.

  22. Please note that any weeks where tuition is suspended due to failure to pay monthly instalments by the due date, weekly lesson numbers will continue to be counted as part of the annual total as our teaching staff have been timetabled to deliver tuition at this time.

  23. You will be notified of the increase in tuition fees after your child has received their first year of beginner tuition. A new payment schedule will be issued at this point.

  24. A monthly invoice will be sent detailing your next instalment due. If there is a debt on your account, collection by Direct Debit will NOT be possible until the account is brought up to date and no outstanding fees remain.

6. REGISTRATION & PAYMENTS

  1. Your annual music fee is paid in 11 monthly instalments from September to July each year for delivery of 30 lessons over the full academic year.

  2. Instalments are due by the 1st working day of each month. By registering for tuition/ensemble membership you are agreeing to pay by the first working day of each month.

  3. Initial registration can be made by registering online via our website www.tvms.org.uk/register for which you will need the teacher information. If you are joining part way through the academic year your fees will be reduced pro rata. You will be required to pay for the number of months you are registered in the remainder of that academic year. Instalments are paid over the remaining months up to and including July.

  4. Instalments can be made by debit or credit card online available 24 hours a day by logging into your secure account on SpeedAdmin https://ukteesvalley.speedadmin.dk/ Your login information will be sent to you once registration is complete.

  5. We take payment by monthly Direct Debit, and a Direct Debit Instruction is available on our website https://www.TVMS.org.uk/register select Direct Debit Form.

  6. Instalments must be made by an alternative method until your Direct Debit is set up with your bank and confirmation of this is received from us.

  7. Our teaching staff will not take payment from you as they are not office based.

  8. Payment can also be made by cheque or postal order. Ensure your child’s school and name is written on the rear of your payment as we will not be able to reconcile your account without this information. Please send cheques/postal orders to TVMS, Frederick Nattrass Centre, Swale Road, Stockton on Tees TS20 1BY.

  9. If instalments are not paid by the due date, your child’s lessons will be discontinued until payment is made to bring your account up to date. Once this has happened you will be asked to register via your online account to enable lessons to restart.

  10. Fees not paid will be actively recovered and referred to Stockton Council’s Legal Services. If legal proceedings are taken this may result in legal costs and expenses being added to the amount due. Should we obtain a court judgement against you this may affect your ability to obtain credit in the future.

7. REFUNDS & CANCELLATIONS

  1. To cancel lessons without penalty, written notice must be received at TVMS office by the following dates:
    Autumn term      30th November
    Spring term        31st March
    Summer term     30th June

    Payment will be due until the end of the term in which notice is received.

  2. Refunds for undelivered lessons will be made at the end of the academic year, not on a term-by-term basis.

  3. Lessons offered are recorded by teachers on an attendance list. If, at the end of the full year period September-July, we have not offered 30 lessons (pro rata if lessons commenced part way through year), we will credit your account with the number of lessons missed. Account will be credited after the end of the academic year as our teaching staff need the opportunity to deliver the full quota of lessons.

  4. There is no refund for band, orchestra or choir fees.

  5. If you decide to stop tuition / band attendance within the year, you should contact the TVMS office via email to ensure we update your account accordingly. You will continue to be liable to pay instalments until the end of the term in which we receive written notification from you.

  6. Please email TVMS office to advise us of your decision to cancel tuition and ensemble membership by the above dates. You will receive an email acknowledging your request and this acknowledgement should be kept for future reference. It is vitally important that you notify TVMS office as our teachers are not office-based. If you inform teaching staff we may not receive your cancellation instruction in time to action your account and you will continue to be liable for the full cost of lessons/memberships/instrument hire until the end of the subsequent term in which we are informed in writing. We will contact our teacher and let them know about your decision. Please email tvms@tvms.org.uk . Alternatively, you can post a letter confirming the cancellation to TVMS, Frederick Nattrass Centre, Swale Road, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1BY.

  7. If you cancel lessons, and the target number of lessons have been offered, you will be required to pay your 11 instalments to the end of the academic year.

  8. Lessons and memberships continue term-on-term and year-on-year until written notice is received at TVMS office.

8. ABSENCES

  1. If a lesson is not attended without giving at least 48 hours prior notice, or the absence is outside the control of TVMS, including suspended tuition, it will be included in the lesson count.

  2. Lessons missed due to TVMS teacher absence will not be charged for.

  3. In the event of a long term absence of a TVMS teacher we will endeavour to cover the absence with another specialist teacher. Please note that it can sometimes take up to a month to organise this cover because we are committed to the local authority safeguarding procedures and all teachers working for us have to undergo DBS clearance and pre-employment checks before they can start work with us. We will monitor lesson numbers closely and amend fees accordingly at the end of the academic year.

9. INSTRUMENTS

  1. You are strongly recommended to insure any TVMS instrument on loan on an ‘all-risks’ basis. You are responsible for the full cost of damage to the instrument other than ‘fair wear and tear’. This responsibility also applies should the instrument be lost or stolen. TVMS is unable to provide recommendations for individual companies.

  2. TVMS does not accept liability for loss or damage to pupils’ instruments or personal possessions.

  3. Instrument hire is available to those pupils having lessons with TVMS only. It is not possible to hire or continue to hire instruments if you are registered for ensemble-only membership.

  4. The instrument must be kept in good order and maintained in the manner recommended by the instrumental teacher/Support Service Manager. All hired instruments can be brought in to TVMS free of charge on an annual basis for a maintenance check. Please contact TVMS to book this service.

  5. Repairs may only be arranged by TVMS and must not be attempted by any other person.

  6. It is your responsibility to purchase replacement strings, reeds and accessories.

  7. Any hired TVMS instrument remains your responsibility until cancellation is complete and

    confirmation of return of instrument is provided by TVMS. If an instrument is not returned to TVMS when tuition ceases, you will be invoiced for the full replacement value.

  8. Please note that if you decide to purchase your own instrument during the year, you need to contact TVMS office to ensure we update your account accordingly. You will continue to be liable to pay instalments for TVMS instrument hire until the end of the term in which we receive written notification from you, in line with the Cancellation and Refund Policy dates below:
    Autumn term      30th November
    Spring term        31st March
    Summer term     30th June