Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme
Saltaire: +44 (0) 1274 288 100
London: +44 (0) 20 7632 3960


Buy your child's instrument VAT free!


What is the Assisted Purchase Scheme?

The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS) offers the possibility to buy a musical instrument for your child without paying VAT. The instrument is bought by a local authority school or music service. Local authorities can recover the VAT because the intrument purchase is for the provision of education. The LEA school or music service can then invoice the for the instrument without charging VAT.

How does it work?

1.  Check if you are eligible

To be eligible for AIPS your child must be:

  • EITHER in full-time education at a local authority school LEA school or Academy
  • AND/OR receiving music tuition at an LEA funded Music Centre.

N.B. This is a voluntary scheme and not all schools, music services/authorities will participate. Please check with the school or your local music service/LEA as to whether they participate in this scheme.

If you are ineligible for the AIPS, or the scheme is not offered in your area, there is the Take It Away scheme available.

2.  Choose your instrument

Choose your child’s instrument in-store or over the phone with the help of expert advice. For the scheme the instrument must meet the following conditions

  • be used at the school or in a local authority orchestra
  • be an appropriate instrument for the child

3.  Request for the instrument to be bought through AIPS

Once you have chosen the instrument you wish to buy, you can ask your child’s school or music service (LEA) to order it on your behalf.

Some LEAs issue a form that must be used when the order is placed to qualify for the scheme. These forms can be requested from the school or Music Centre. Other LEAs do not produce a dedicated form and the school/Music Centre can simply issue its own official order to us stating the instrument you require. If this is the case you can fill in our AIPS application form and give it to the school or LEA.

4.  Collect your instrument

Once your application has been approved we will be issued with an invoice. We can then dispatch your instrument to your child’s school or music centre where you can collect it.

5.  Payment

Payment is made by you directly to the school or LEA for the instrument. The price will be for the instrument excluding VAT. Some schools and LEAs offer additional finance options. Any enquiries about this should be made directly to the school or LEA.

How much could you save?

By using the AIPS you will get 1/6 off the price of any new instrument.

Example of savings using AIPS


Harp, Lever Harp Instrument
By Camac

Camac are one of the world's leading Celtic harp specialists, and their beautifully made harps have modern harp tension and advanced easy to use semi-tone levers.

Alto (Treble) Recorder
By Moeck

4307 Rottenburgh alto in Grenadilla. Immensely popular range of recorders.

Moeck Rottenburgh Alto in Grenadilla

Camac Hermine 34-string Harp (with case)

£599.50 – You pay £499.58

£2,040 – You pay £1,700


N.B. Generally the school or LEA charge an administration fee.  This varies between different schools and LEAs.

Further Information

For further information please contact us, your child’s school or LEA, download AIPS - Guide for Schools and Parents or visit the HMRC website.

Early Music Shop – London

Early Music Shop – Saltaire

11 Denmark Street

Salts Mill, Victoria Road


Saltaire, West Yorkshire


BD18 3LA

0207 632 3960

01274 288100