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TERMS AND CONDITIONS - Effective 1 September 2016

These terms and conditions form the basis of the contract between Berkshire Maestros and parents / carers. Parents/carers are subject to and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. Berkshire Maestros (hereafter referred to as Maestros) reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions at any time and without notice. Any determination made by the Chief Executive arising from the terms and conditions shall be final.

SESSIONS
Maestros provides 33 instrumental lessons over the three term academic year (2016/17). For lessons in school, a concert/performance in school, led by a Maestros teacher, is deemed to be a lesson. Due to the uneven length of school terms, the number of lessons/sessions offered in each term may vary i.e. the number of lessons billed (refer to ‘Fees’) may not equate to the number of lessons offered. If we are unable to deliver 33 lessons by the end of the academic year, a credit will be issued against the following autumn term invoice. Sessions will not be credited on a term by term basis. A refund, subject to a minimum amount of £5.00, will only be made upon written request after a pupil has left. For memberships (e.g. bands, ensembles and choirs) we guarantee a minimum of 30 sessions over the year (County Groups excepted). Credits cannot be given for memberships. (See also Fees section below). 

FEES
Fees are reviewed annually. A summary of our fees is available on request from our Reading office and may also be downloaded here. Payment for membership of a County Group is invoiced as an annual fee. Invoices are sent out during August and payment is due upon receipt of the invoice.
Instalments can be arranged for the whole of your music tuition - please contact finance@berkshiremaestos.org.uk to ask for more details.
The majority of County Group activities take place during the autumn and spring terms so that the summer term is generally lighter; this is due to school examination schedules.

Failure to pay fees will lead to the withdrawal of membership of the County Group and the Academy@Maestros and may also result in an additional sum being invoiced in lieu of notice. Any discounts or other reduced fees that may be offered under the Academy@Maestros scheme are applied at Maestros discretion. No discounts are applied to Academy membership as these are already heavily subsidised.

TEACHING
Teaching is normally given in groups, based on age and ability. A standard group is of 30 minutes duration and will consist of 3 or more. The size, duration and membership of a group may be subject to change without notice (e.g. due to differing rates of progress). When a 30 minute standard group reduces to just two pupils, the lesson duration will reduce to 20 minutes. (The standard group rate will continue to apply.) However, as soon as is practical, we will endeavour to integrate pupils into a 30 minute group of 3 or more. A 20 minute group of 2 pupils may also be offered at other times at Maestros' discretion. A shared group of 2 for 30 minutes is also available as are individual lessons – please refer to our current fees. When group teaching is no longer possible (e.g. other group members have left) Maestros will inform you of the options available. 
Maestros will not give tuition to a pupil who receives lessons on the same instrument from another teacher. Progress is monitored continuously.  

TIME OF LESSONS
School lessons take place during the school day. Parents/carers accept that this will usually result in a pupil being withdrawn from their normal school classes for the duration of the lesson. The music teacher is not responsible for escorting children to/from lessons.

Pupils at secondary school are responsible for monitoring the relevant school notice board to confirm the day and time of their lesson each week. Lessons and activities at music centre will take place outside school hours with the exception of home educated children and adults when lessons may be taught during the day by arrangement.

COMMENCEMENT
Lessons, classes and memberships will begin as soon as possible following receipt of a completed enrolment form. Membership of some bands, choirs and ensembles, is determined by teaching staff. An audition may be required.
The minimum commitment and charge for both lessons and memberships is until the end of the term in which attendance begins. Trial lessons/sessions are not offered unless they form part of an authorised special promotion. (See also Withdrawal section below).

SUPERVISION
Maestros only accepts responsibility for pupils during actual lesson/session time. At all other times, responsibility lies with the school or parents/carers.

INSTRUMENTS/ACCESSORIES
Parents/carers agree to provide instruments, music and accessories as required, to pay any examination fees and to make arrangements for accompanists where required. (Loan instruments may be available - terms and conditions apply).

LIABILITY
Maestros does not accept liability for loss or damage to pupil's instruments or personal possessions. Parents/carers should arrange appropriate insurance for these items.

BEHAVIOUR
Pupils are expected to behave in a responsible and courteous manner at all times; to attend lessons regularly and to practise between lessons. Poor attendance, failure to practise or disruptive or anti-social behaviour by either the pupil or by the parent/carer, may result in tuition being withdrawn. No credits will be given in such circumstances.

EXAMINATIONS
Examination entries are submitted by the instrumental teacher acting upon the instructions of the parent/carer. Responsibility for the notification of results lies with the teacher. Parents/carers undertake to make their own arrangements for accompanists. Maestros are not liable for the payment of examination fees or accompanist fees.

MISSED SESSIONS
Lessons missed by pupils due to short term sickness, school trips/activities, revision leave, exams etc. will not be made up or credited. When 5 or more consecutive sessions are missed in the same term due to illness/injury we will credit a maximum of 5 lessons. A medical certificate may be required. When staff miss a session due to illness or travel delay they will do their best to make the session up (e.g. through an extra lesson or a double lesson). Credits cannot be given for termly membership fees.
When a school cancels a lesson we will endeavour to make up the lesson provided that a minimum of 48hrs notice has been received from the school. In the event of an emergency or closure of a school (full or partial) or music centre due to an event outside Maestros control (e.g. a pandemic, flooding, heavy snow or industrial action) sessions will not be made up or credited.

WITHDRAWAL
A pupil may only withdraw from sessions at the end of a term. Lessons and memberships will continue term on term and year on year until appropriate written notice of withdrawal is received. Notice must be given, by e-mail to admin@berkshiremaestros.org.uk or in writing to our Reading office as follows: by 24 October to withdraw at the end of the autumn term, by 13 February to withdraw at the end of the spring term, and by 29 May to withdraw at the end of the summer term. If the required notice to withdraw from lessons is not given, a late notice charge of up to £40.00 will be payable towards the cost of rescheduling lessons and/or loss of planned income. Payment of the late notice charge does not entitle a pupil to attend lessons. If a pupil withdraws part way through a term, the term’s charges remain payable in full.

Last updated: 1 September 2016


ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ACADEMY @ MAESTROS
AND COUNTY GROUPS AUDITIONS

Membership of the Academy @ Maestros is competitive and requires an audition. All current members and new applicants must attend an audition. A date and time will be issued to you upon receipt of your completed application form. Please let us know at the time of application if you are unavailable on a particular day or time. Auditions will not be arranged outside of the stated weeks.

FEES
Fees are reviewed annually. A summary of our fees is available on request from our Reading office and may also be downloaded here. Payment for membership of a County Group is invoiced as an annual fee. Invoices are sent out during August and payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. Instalments can be arranged for the whole of your music tuition - please contact finance@berkshiremaestos.org.uk to ask for more details.
The majority of County Group activities take place during the autumn and spring terms so that the summer term is generally lighter; this is due to school examination schedules.

Failure to pay fees will lead to the withdrawal of membership of the County Group and the Academy@Maestros and may also result in an additional sum being invoiced in lieu of notice. Any discounts or other reduced fees that may be offered under the Academy@Maestros scheme are applied at Maestros discretion. No discounts are applied to Academy membership as these are already heavily subsidised.

Separate fees are charged for residential courses, tours, coach trips etc.

COMMITMENT
Places are offered on the understanding that a student will remain in the County Group for one full academic year.
County Groups generally meet less frequently than Music Centre Groups. Consequently a high level of commitment is required particularly with regard to preparation between rehearsals. By accepting a County Group place a student agrees to:

  • Attend all the rehearsals scheduled for the year (date sheets will be available at the end of the summer term)
  • Undertake the required practice and preparation
  • Participate in all performances scheduled for the year
  • Make every effort to participate in additional performances if unscheduled events occur during the year

WITHDRAWAL
A student may only withdraw from the Academy @ Maestros County Group at the end of the academic year. In exceptional circumstances, and in consultation with the County Group Director or the Gifted & Talented Co-ordinator, we will help to resolve a situation should a student need to relinquish their membership before the end of the academic year. Exceptional circumstances do not include examinations and school work. If a student withdraws from the County Group before the end of an academic year the full year’s fees are still payable.

Maestros reserve the right to withdraw membership from any student if effort, attendance or behaviour is unsatisfactory.

COMMUNICATION
If advice is needed or problems occur, parents are asked to contact the County & Academy Assistant on 0118 9012386, county@berkshiremaestros.org.uk in the first instance.

Last updated: 1 September 2016


TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSTRUMENT HIRE

Instruments can only be hired to:

  • a student receiving tuition for a contracted Instrumental lesson from a Maestros teacher
  • a student participating in a Maestros project at a Local Unitary Authority School (In2Music or Play On)
  • a student attending one of Berkshire Maestros’ bands, ensembles or orchestras
  • members of affiliated organisations e.g. community bands run by parents and Friends Associations

Please note the following terms and conditions for the hire of instruments:

  1. An instrument will only be issued once a signed hire agreement form has been received.
  2. The hire is made on the clear understanding that the instrument is to be returned no later than the first two weeks of the following term after the hire has finished (i.e. lessons have ceased or the hire period1 has expired).  Berkshire Maestros reserves the right to charge a full term of hire if this deadline is not met.  The instrument should be in the same condition (except for normal ‘wear and tear’) as recorded on issue.
  3. Berkshire Maestros can recall a hire instrument at any time.
  4. A minimum of a termly charge will be made for each instrument on hire. Hire charges are reviewed annually. A summary of our fees is available on request from our Reading office and may also be downloaded here. Separate charges based upon the value of the instrument apply for pupils who attend activities with Maestros but do not take lessons – contact us for details. Please note that we are unable to offer financial assistance in respect of charges for hire instruments.
  5. ALL INSTRUMENTS – Parents/carers are responsible for any damages/losses or replacements to the instrument. We strongly advise parents to check that their household policy includes cover for instruments and if necessary add it specifically to the policy. At all times, including repairs, advice must be sought from the Resources Department before taking any action.
  6. In the event of damage or loss due to negligence, Berkshire Maestros reserve the right to charge the full cost of repair or replacement.
  7. An instrument should never be left unattended in a vehicle or overnight away from home.
  8. Parents are expected to pay for incidentals such as replacement strings, rosin and bow repairs/rehairing (string instruments), reeds and cork grease (woodwind instruments), valve oil and slide cream (brass instruments), adapters (keyboards).
  9. The hire instrument must be returned by you to the local music centre. (please telephone to arrange a time). On no account should the instrument be returned to the teacher or left on school premises. You will continue to be charged for the instrument until such time as the Music Centre issues you with a receipt to acknowledge its return.
  10. Typically our instrument hire scheme is for the purpose of allowing pupils to access musical instruments without the burden of cost in the initial stages.  In order that we can keep providing these instruments to beginners we cannot offer indefinite hires.  Therefore, we may set the hire agreement to a maximum of two academic years.  This is particularly common for brass and woodwind instruments.

1 The date indicated on the hire form for return of instrument.

Last updated: August 2016

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