Assisted purchase scheme

What is the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme?

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) allows you as a parent or guardian to purchase a musical instrument for your child without paying VAT, ensuring that you make valuable savings off Chamberlain Music's already reduced prices, leading to a huge discount off the RRP.

Am I eligible for the scheme and what are the requirements?

  • Changes in the 1994 VAT (Education) Order enables school pupils to purchase musical instruments free of VAT. The procedure for this scheme has been approved by HM Customs & Excise and was reviewed in September 1994 by the VAT office. To comply with the Customs & Excise rules the following criteria music be satisfied:
  • The pupil must be in full-time education at a Local Education Authority School
  • The pupil must either be receiving tuition at the school as part of their curriculum or receiving private tuition in support of a curricular activity such as GCSE music
  • The instrument must be appropriate for the pupil's needs
  • The instrument must be portable (e.g. no pianos)
  • The instrument must be purchased via the school and passed on to the pupil on the school/music centre premises

I am eligible, how do I purchase the instrument?

  • Choose your instrument making a note of the model and obtain the necessary form from your school or music centre - if they do not have a form please download our form instead
  • Complete the form and pass it along to the school/music centre with payment (please note that the school/music centre may charge a small administration fee and you should check this with them first)
  • Your school/music centre will generate an official order and submit it to Chamberlain Music
  • Chamberlain Music will despatch the instrument to the school/music centre ready for collection

Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme form (PDF) - Click here to download


My school/music centre is part of the LEA yet they do not currently operate the scheme, am I still entitled to purchase an instrument in this way?

Yes, this scheme is legal and any child fulfilling the criteria is eligible. Speak to your school or music centre about the scheme and use our downloadable application form if they are unable to provide one for you.

What if my child does not attend a Local Education Authority school, is there a way I could be eligible?

AIPS is a voluntary scheme enabling different local authorities to operate in different ways. If your child attends an independent school yet receives regular additional tuition from an LEA Music Service that operates such a policy they may be eligible if the conditions are followed as per the eligibility notes above.

What happens with my instrument guarantee?

Although the instrument is purchased by your school or music centre, we retain all purchase and serial numbers in the unlikely event any work needs to be undertaken under the warranty.

Can't find the answer to your question?

Please email our specialist advisors on the scheme.