Help with music fees

Table of Contents


Financial Support for Music – lessons between September 2023 to July 2024

Students living or attending school in the London Borough of Sutton may be able to get financial support for instrument or vocal lessons with Sutton Music Trust (SMT) tutors.

Sutton Music Trust aims to help every young person in the London Borough of Sutton to make, be inspired by and celebrate the music they love. It is the job of the Sutton Music Education Hub to deliver this vision and coordinate all the people, partners and resources needed to consistently strive to reach this aim. 

This policy aims to set out how SMT can support children and young people to access our musical activities where finance is a barrier. 

This remission policy has been compiled, recognising the difficulties placed on us in balancing the social welfare of pupils with the management of the Music Trust’s budget. This policy is fair and just and sets out a clear procedure for families. 

Free School Meals Remission

SMT Music Academy, Ensembles & Instrument Hire 

SMT provides a fee remission of up to 50% off Sutton Music Trust’s Music Academy lessons, our ensemble membership and instrument hire to eligible children for free school meals. Students must attend a maintained school in the London Borough of Sutton. 


100% reduction of fees for children and young people who are a Child Looked After (CLA) 

SMT In-School Peripatetic Lessons 

In schools where children and young people receive tuition from SMT’s visiting music tutors, a fee remission of 25% is available for students eligible for free school meals. Individual schools may then wish to subsidise the tuition cost further through a school bursary. Please speak to your School about any specific bursaries available for students.   


100% reduction of fees for children and young people who are a Child Looked After (CLA) 


For more information about this, contact  


FSM Eligibility 

Children may be able to get free school meals if their parents receive the following: 

  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit 
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190) 
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit 
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)1 


Remission is available for the first instrumental lesson, ensemble memberships, and instrument hire only.  

FSM remissions are not available for second study instrumental lessons.  


SMT will require evidence of the child receiving FSM. 


To apply for an FSM remission, please make a discount application when you apply for lessons using our online portal SpeedAdmin. 

Child Looked After (CLA)

SMT provides Children Looked After with a fee remission of up to 100% off Sutton Music Trust’s Music Academy lessons, our ensemble membership and instrument hire. 


For more information about this, contact  

Sutton Youth Music Supporter’s Association (SYMSA) Bursary

SYMSA, registered charity 107116, works to support Sutton Music Trust in fulfilling their vision to help every young person in the borough to make, be inspired by and to celebrate the music they love. SYMSA has a limited number of bursaries to offer each year to help children and young people access high-quality music education who might otherwise struggle to do so for financial reasons. 


The young person for whom the bursary is being applied for must: 

  • be in Key Stage 2 to 5 
  • attend a London Borough of Sutton school where SMT delivers peripatetic tuition or attend the SMT Music Academy or attend an SMT ensemble 
  • be committed to learning their instrument 
  • have been prevented from learning their instrument due to the impact of COVID-19 
  • cannot be used in conjunction with any other remission  


Applications are to be made annually, no later than 1 July. 


Applying does not guarantee a bursary will be awarded.  


Bursaries are awarded at the discretion of the SYMSA trustees. 


The SYMSA trustees will notify you about the outcome of the application within 28 days. 


To apply for a SYMSA bursary, please contact Sutton Music Trust at in the first instance. 

Sibling Discount

SMT provides a sibling remission of 50% to our ensemble membership. This discount requires one sibling to be paying the full ensemble membership fee. There is no limit on the number of siblings that can receive this remission. 

Additional Ensemble Membership

SMT provides a discounted charge of £12.50 per term for each ensemble that a student joins in addition to their first ensemble. 

Commitment to Learning

Students who receive any of the available remissions and bursaries are required to give their full commitment to all activities and have regular and punctual attendance at all rehearsals, courses and performances.  


Students receiving SYMSA bursaries must be part of at least one Sutton Music Trust ensemble. 


Sutton Music Trust reserves the right to withdraw funding should pupils fail to meet the expected level of commitment and progress. The remission will be reviewed termly, and continued funding is subject to pupils demonstrating the required level of commitment and progress. 

Change of circumstances

SMT must be informed immediately of any changes in circumstances. If something changes and the student no longer meets the FSM remission or SYMSA bursary criteria, we may ask you to pay the total amount for the lessons. We have the right to recover any underpayment of fees.  

Additional Bursaries

It may be possible, depending on funding, for the Head of Music Trust to authorise other bursaries in exceptional circumstances. These applications will be approved on a case-by-case basis. 

Next review: August 2024