Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

Sutton Music Trust (SMT) is a charity subsidiary of Cognus Limited, 1st Floor, Cantium House, Railway Approach, Wallington, SM6 0DZ

Tel: 0208 323 0419 Web: www.suttonmusictrust.org.uk


1.1. Bookings for instrumental tuition, ensemble activities, instrument hire and other activities must be completed and submitted to SMT by parents/ carers. 

1.2. After the parent/ carer has submitted the online booking, student names will be placed on a waiting list during the scheduling period. Subject to availability, confirmation of their place will be communicated via email along with dates and the timings of the lessons/ rehearsals/ other activity.

1.3. We may not be able to accommodate all requests for tuition or ensemble membership straight away, in which case students will stay on our waiting lists. SMT reviews waiting lists each half term so that students start at the beginning of a full term or after a half term.

1.4. Paired/ group lessons can only be offered if there is a suitable pairing or group available. Where pairs/groups do not exist, SMT will try to offer alternative lesson types and/or place the student on a waiting list until an appropriate pairing or group is possible.

1.5. It may not be possible to offer tuition on a particular instrument if there is not enough work available to make it financially viable for the tutor, i.e., one to two hours at any particular school. In this case, students will go onto a waiting list until there are enough students requiring tuition.

1.6. SMT waiting lists work on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are offered lessons when a tutor has availability on their timetable, so sometimes, we are not able to take students on at the first waiting list review.

1.7. The Sutton Music Hub/ Cognus Limited subsidises all Music Trust activities. Fees are as published and reviewed annually.

1.8. On acceptance of the lesson time/ timetabling, fees must be paid in full in advance with no reduction for missed lessons (see TIMETABLING OF LESSONS: PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS, MUSIC ACADEMY AND ONLINE below).

1.9. Joining an SMT ensemble or choir may require an audition. Students will be directed to the most appropriate group for their age and performance standard. Their place in the ensemble will be decided by the ensemble tutors. Students will be given verbal feedback and advice as part of the audition process.

1.10. SMT will deliver 30 sessions over the year, usually ten lessons per term, either in-person or via virtual delivery (including performances).

1.11. SMT does not offer credits or refunds for lessons missed by students, school cancellations or closures, and poor weather that would make it unsafe for staff and students to travel to ensemble rehearsals/ concerts or to instrumental lessons.

1.12. Where lessons are delivered in participating schools, and a tutor has been unavailable, an additional catch-up week will be scheduled.

1.13. Where lessons are delivered at our Wednesday or Saturday Music Academy and a tutor has been unavailable, a ‘dep’ tutor will be arranged, or we will give an alternative date for an online lesson to ensure that the full ten lessons have been delivered. If no alternative tutor or online lesson can be arranged, SMT will either apply a credit to the following terms lesson invoice or reimburse the parent/ carer for the missed lesson.

1.14. Instruments are not provided as part of the tuition fee.

1.15. For those students wishing to take music exams, please note that exam materials and exam entry costs are not included in the tuition fee.


2.1. The student will be automatically re-enrolled and invoiced for the same activity or activities term on term and year on year unless the parent/carer has cancelled their place in writing (see CANCELLATION below).


3.1. If a parent/ carer wishes to cancel their child’s tuition, ensemble membership, or instrument hire, they must notify SMT by the deregistration form on the home page of their SpeedAdmin account.

  • 1 June to withdraw at the end of the Summer Term
  • 1 November to withdraw at the end of the Autumn term
  • 1 March to withdraw at the end of the Spring term

3.2. Any outstanding fees will be payable.

3.3. Failure to notify SMT in writing will result in the parent/ carer being charged 50% of the next whole term’s fee. Verbal notification to a tutor, ensemble leader, member of SMT staff or schoolteacher does not qualify as formal notice.

3.4. Once lessons have started in any term, the full term’s payment is due in lieu of notice for that term.

3.5 If a student withdraws part-way through a term, the term’s charges remain payable in full.


4.1. Should the Sutton Music Trust need to close due to Force Majeure, including the Act of Government, adverse weather conditions or another unavoidable issue, there will be no reduction for any missed delivery.


5.1. Where instrumental tuition takes place at participating schools, SMT will coordinate with the school and parents to find the most appropriate available time. If lessons take place during the school day, lessons may occur on a rotating timetable. Parents should contact SMT via email at suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk with any timetabling queries.

5.2. Lesson times will be available to the parent/ carer via their SpeedAdmin login and displayed on relevant school noticeboards.

5.3. Students are responsible for ensuring that they know when their lessons are each week. SMT cannot refund or reschedule lessons that have not been attended without prior agreement. SMT may be able to rearrange an in-school peripatetic or online lesson if we are notified a minimum of five working days in advance. However, it will not be possible for SMT to accommodate all timetabling requests.

5.4. Music tutors are not responsible for escorting students to and from lessons.


6.1. All SMT ensembles, choirs and groups rely on the commitment of their members. Students are expected to attend rehearsals each week. If this is impossible, it is important that notice is given to the Ensembles, Events & Media Coordinator by emailing suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk.

6.2. By joining an ensemble, students are making a commitment to play in the termly concerts. If an absence is unavoidable, notification should be given to the Ensembles, Events & Media Coordinator by emailing suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk at the earliest opportunity.

6.3. Attendance at rehearsals and concerts is carefully monitored. If attendance falls below an acceptable level, at the conductor’s discretion, students may be asked not to perform in concerts or on music tours if they are not prepared to the required standard.


7.1. Reductions may be available for students who receive Free School Meals. Please contact us via email at suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk for more information.

7.2. Sutton Youth Music Supporters Association (SYMSA) bursaries are available via an application for tuition at our Wednesday and Saturday Music Academies. Please contact us via email at suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk for more information.

7.3. For those students in receipt of a SYMSA bursary, after a student has received one to two terms of tuition, they will be required to join an SMT ensemble playing the instrument that they receive lessons on at the Wednesday or Saturday Music Academy. Anyone failing to meet this requirement will have their bursary withdrawn.


8.1. Students are expected to behave in a responsible manner that does not endanger themselves or others and not to touch equipment unless instructed to do so by a member of Music Trust staff.

8.2. The use of mobile telephones during rehearsals is not permitted.

8.3. While incredibly rare, SMT does not tolerate bullying in any form. Students are asked to use social media responsibly and considerately. Any acts of bullying will result, if proven, in a student being asked to discontinue their SMT activities. All acts of bullying should be reported directly to the Head of Music Trust for investigation.


9.1. SMT does not accept liability for the loss or damage of students’ instruments or personal possessions. Parents/carers should arrange appropriate insurance for these items.

9.2. SMT strongly recommends that all students wear appropriate hearing protection during musical activities.


10.1. SMT wants to support all students to fulfil their musical potential and enjoy the recreational benefits of music-making. If a student has a medical condition or specific educational needs that SMT should know about, parents/ carers must inform SMT in writing via email to suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk.

10.2. Parents/ carers must also inform us of relevant changes to the student’s medical conditions or educational needs.


11.1. Tutors and SMT will track the students’ attendance at lessons and contact parents where two consecutive lessons have been missed or they have missed three lessons during a single term.

11.2. Tutors will contact parents/ carers if the student appears not to have practised between lessons on more than two occasions or if they have forgotten their instrument, sheet music and/or practice diary.


12.1. Instruments are hired out by SMT for use in instrumental lessons in schools within the London Borough of Sutton or in SMT ensembles. 

12.2. When collecting the instruments at our offices, identification (proof of name and address) must be shown, a form completed, and a fee paid. Acceptable forms of ID are a driving license or utility bill (dated within the preceding three months).

12.3. After the initial fee is paid, invoices will be sent out each term. A full-term hire fee will need to be paid to SMT for every term the instrument is hired in.

12.4. SMT instruments are of student quality and remain the property of SMT.

12.5. To return an instrument, please make an appointment via email at suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk or telephone us on 0208 323 0419 by the dates set out in 3.1 or payment for the next term will be charged. Instruments must be returned to our SMT office: Sutton Music Trust, C/O Cognus Limited, 1st Floor, Cantium House, Railway Approach, Wallington, SM6 0DZ. Failure to do so will result in the parent being invoiced for another full term’s hire fee. Instruments must not be returned to individual schools or tutors.

12.6. All instruments need to be treated with care by the student. The student’s tutor will be able to advise on the care of the instrument. This advice should be followed and incorporated into the student’s practice routine. Any of the following will result in the parent being invoiced for a brand-new instrument: intentional damage, careless damage and loss of the instrument.

12.7. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to purchase the necessary consumables and to replace them as the need arises (e.g., rosin/strings/reeds). If needed, please contact SMT via email at suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk for advice.

12.8. All instruments must be maintained in good condition. Loss or damage of an instrument must be reported immediately to the SMT office. Repairs or replacement costs of an instrument damaged due to careless use will be charged in full to the hirer. Parents should not attempt to repair the instrument as it may cause further damage and incur further costs. SMT will not reimburse parents for any private repairs that have been undertaken without prior expressed permission to do so.

12.9. The instrument is not insured whilst on hire, and it is the hirer’s responsibility to arrange adequate insurance for the instrument. SMT is unable to recommend insurance companies.


13.1. For administration purposes, SMT will keep personal information (name, address, age, name/s of legal guardians, etc.) for the delivery of music tuition and ensemble membership. This information will be stored per our Privacy Policy, which can be read at https://suttonmusictrust.org.uk/privacy-statement/.

13.2. From time to time, Sutton Music Trust, part of Cognus Limited, will take photographs and/or film footage of events, concerts, and lessons. The Music Trust may use these images as part of displays to celebrate our musical activities and student achievements; to promote the Music Trust via our website and social media; and for other publicity purposes in printed publications, such as newsletters. Student names may appear on our website and newsletters. Photographs and video footage will be stored securely and will not be kept for longer than are needed for the purposes listed above. You can opt to decline your consent on registration or by contacting suttonmusictrust@cognus.org.uk

13.3. The full Cognus Limited Privacy statement can be read at https://cognus.org.uk/privacy/

13.4. As part of our Music Hub funding agreement and for administration purposes, SMT will also keep personal information (for example, age, gender, name of the school, and specific educational needs) which will be shared with Arts Council England for the purpose of tracking progression rates and participation.

13.5. The full Arts Council England Privacy statement can be read at http://www.artscouncilcollection.org.uk/privacy-policy

13.6. Please either confirm your permission by selecting ‘Yes’ or decline by selecting ‘No’ on your online booking form.

Updated 14 April 2023