Service Standards and Commitments

Service Standards and Commitments

Music at Eltham College

Instrumental/Vocal lessons are timetabled by Visiting Music Teachers to take place during the course of the school day. Lessons take place on a weekly rotation basis and may be during a break time or an academic lesson. Fixed lessons are generally not available. Sixth Formers will have their lessons during their free periods, outside of academic lesson time. Music lessons will be timetabled by Visiting Music Teachers by 5pm on the Friday of the previous week.

Tuition Fees
The cost of tuition is reviewed by Eltham College on an annual basis and will be published at the start of each academic year. The Visiting Music Teacher will charge parents/guardians at this agreed rate.


Music Lesson Commitment
Students will receive on average 25-30 thirty-minute lessons over the course of the academic year. Parents/guardians will be charged directly by the Visiting Music Teacher. Lessons will continue from one academic year to the next unless the correct notice is given, or the student leaves the school.


Parents may contact their child’s Music Teacher directly between 8.30am-6.30pm; Heads of Section and VMTs will respond when possible, but a response can usually be expected within 24 hours. Please use the contact method and details provided by the Visiting Music Teacher. Parents will be given the opportunity to meet Visiting Music Teachers in person during the Parents’ Music Weeks during the Michaelmas and Summer Terms.


Parents/guardians can expect to receive a written report from the Visiting Music Teacher on their child’s progress once a year. This will be provided in the second half of the Summer Term, and will comment on the pupil’s engagement, and progress, since the previous September.


Music Assessment and Examination
Parents/guardians can expect students to be prepared for instrumental examinations where appropriate. These are usually those of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or Trinity Music, but other boards may be suitable in certain cases. These exams take place at the school towards the end of each term. Examination fees and any Accompanist fees are charged to parents/guardians via the termly school fees invoice. Conversations regarding entrance into music examinations should take place between the parents/guardians and the Visiting Music Teacher, and parents are expected to adhere to the professional advice of the Visiting Music Teacher on whether such an entry is appropriate. If a parent/guardian disagrees with this advice, they should contact the Director of Music.


Commitments from Parents/Guardians and Students

Payment of Fees
Payment for Instrumental/Vocal/Theory lessons should be made directly to the Visiting Music Teacher. Visiting Music Teachers will invoice parents/guardians in advance of the term’s lessons. Payment should be made directly to the teacher via BACS. Payment is expected within 14 days of receipt of the invoice unless indicated otherwise by the Visiting Music Teacher. In the event of non-payment, a reminder invoice will be issued with a further deadline (usually within one week). If payment is still not received by a specified date, individual instrumental/vocal tuition will be suspended. Lessons will not resume until full payment has been received.

Termination of Tuition
a. In order to terminate Instrumental/Vocal/Theory tuition, parents/guardians must give half a term’s notice in writing to the Teacher and Music Administrator ([email protected]), using the following termination dates:

  • To cease tuition at the end of the Michaelmas Term 2023, notice must be given by Friday, 13 October 2023.
  • To cease tuition at the end of the Lent Term 2024, notice must be given by Friday, 9 February 2024.
  • To cease tuition at the end of the Summer Term 2024, notice must be given by Friday 24 May 2024.

Parents/guardians giving insufficient notice will be expected to pay the full amount for one further term of lessons. For example, if notice to cease tuition at the end of Michaelmas Term 2023 is not given by Friday 13 October 2023, payment for the Lent Term 2024 will also be required.

b. Eltham College Visiting Music Teachers have the right to discontinue lessons at any time should there be sufficient evidence, as determined by the teacher and seconded by the Director of Music, of any of the following:

  • unreasonable conduct by the student or anyone connected with the student;
  • a poor attitude to the attendance of instrumental lessons;
  • a lack of progression over time resulting from lack of pupil engagement. 

Any remaining fees for outstanding lessons will not be refundable.


Attendance Expectations
a. Students are expected to attend all timetabled Instrumental/Vocal/Theory lessons and to check their scheduled lesson time on SOCS in advance. If a pupil ascertains that there is a clash with a prior commitment that was not visible on SOCS, it is their/the parent/guardian’s responsibility to raise this and ask for a new lesson time. Visiting Music Teachers are entitled to charge for lessons scheduled and are under no obligation to make up lessons missed by students. This is also true in the case of scheduled lessons missed through short-term illness. If there are anticipated problems (e.g. a scheduled school trip etc.) with a lesson time, students/parents/guardians should notify the Visiting Music Teacher directly one week in advance. Where possible, Visiting Music Teachers will attempt to make up lessons missed for such legitimate reasons at some point during the course of the academic year, although this is not guaranteed. Any lessons lost due to VMT absence will be made up where possible or reimbursed.

b. If a student is unable to attend their individual Instrumental/Vocal/Theory lessons due to a long-term illness or similar, parents/guardians should contact the Visiting Music Teacher directly in advance of the scheduled lesson(s) and copy in the Music Administrator ([email protected]). In cases where a child’s ability to play their instrument is hindered by injury (e.g. broken arm) students are expected to continue attending their scheduled instrumental lesson and Visiting Music Teachers will teach Music Theory/Aural in these lessons, and charge accordingly.


Expectations for Music Students at Eltham College
All students learning an instrument at Eltham College are expected to participate in at least one of the College’s ensembles as identified by their Instrumental/Vocal Teacher or Head of Section and as invited by the Music Department, when they reach an appropriate standard. Regular, committed attendance at all associated rehearsals and performances is also expected, and unexplained absences will be sanctioned. Parents should notify the Director of Music and/or Ensemble Coach if fulfilling these commitments proves difficult. All students having vocal lessons are expected to be auditioned for the College Choir, and may be auditioned for further ensembles such as Young Voices and Chamber Choir. Students in the Junior School are expected to be in an appropriate Choir based on their year group.


Parent/Guardian Commitment
a. Please ensure that your child brings their instrument (excluding piano, organ and drums) to the lessons at school and takes them back home afterwards. Senior students are able to leave instruments in the Music Department lockers, but this is at their own responsibility. Parents should ensure that their child’s instrument is insured, and that the case is clearly labelled along with any purchased music books being named.

b. Pupils should build in regular practice time at home. Visiting Music Teachers will always be able to advise on appropriate lengths of time, and regularity.

c. Please support your child by ensuring they know the dates and times of their music lessons and any examination dates.


Communication of issues
If parents/guardians are not happy with any element of their child’s tuition, they may contact the Music Administrator (020 8857 1455 / [email protected]) to discuss any particular matter, or to arrange to contact, or meet with, the Director of Music. Communication will usually take the form of an email or a telephone call. All forms of communication may be recorded.

All information is correct at June 2023.  Eltham College reserves the right to amend as required.


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