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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Accounts 

Q. Can I have a credit/refund for missed lessons earlier this year?  

A. Please refer to our regulations and conditions for information about how we give refunds or credits if a teacher has missed a lesson www.westsussexmusic.co.uk/regulationsandconditions. As teaching has now ended until further notice, we are compiling teachers’ registers. Please be reassured that once registers have been audited, lessons not offered will be credited to your account. Credited lessons may be used towards future West Sussex Music activities.  If you have instructed us that you are cancelling activities, monies owed will be refunded. If you have already emailed us about missed lessons, we will log your request and there is no need to reapply. 

Q. Will you still be collecting my Direct Debit payments? 

A. Please do not cancel your Direct Debit. The payments we collect in April are for lessons taught in the spring term, the majority of which we estimate will have been delivered.  We will not collect any Direct Debit payments for tuition or music centre membership from 1 May 2020 until further notice. Direct Debits, from 1 May, will continue for Instrument hire only.  

Q. Have you reduced April’s Direct Debit to account for missed lessons in the spring term? 

A. No. April’s payment will be consistent with your standard monthly payment plan. Once teachers’ registers have been audited, lessons not offered in the spring term will be credited to your account. We will not collect any Direct Debit payments for tuition or music centre membership from 1 May 2020 until further notice. Direct Debits, from 1 May, will continue for Instrument hire only.  

Q. I have paid for my child’s activities until the end of the summer term.  Can I have a refund? 

Any monies already paid for the summer term activities will be credited for future sessions.  During the current coronavirus situation, we are offering parents/carers the opportunity to pause activities from the start of the summer term, 20 April, until further notice. This means that pupils will be able to resume their activities as soon as schools and music centres re-open. Please select one of the options below to inform us of your choice: 

  • If you would like to pause activities on your account please complete the pause activities form here 
  • If you would like to cancel activities with no intention of returning to them, please complete our cancellation form here  

Q. I have not yet paid for my child’s summer term activities but would like to return when activities resume. What should I do? 

During the current coronavirus situation, we are offering parents/carers the opportunity to pause activities from the start of the summer term, 20 April, until further notice. This means that pupils will be able to resume their activities as soon as schools and music centres re-open. 

  • If you would like to pause activities on your account please complete the pause activities form here 

If you are able to pay we will keep your money on your account and use this when activities resume. 

Q. West Sussex Music Regulations & Conditions say I must cancel in writing before the 31 March, to not incur charges for the summer term. My circumstances have recently changed due to the coronavirus. Can I still cancel without charge? 

A. Yes. In these exceptional circumstances we are extending the cancellation period until 30 April 2020. If you would like to cancel activities with no intention of returning to them, please complete our cancellation form here   

Q. My child is in Year 11 / Year 13 and I have cancelled from the end of the summer term. Please can I have a refund? 

A. Yes. Please complete our cancellation form here   A refund will be offered once teachers’ registers have been received.  

Q. My personal circumstances have changed and my child is now eligible for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM). How will this affect my account? Am I due a refund? 

A. Please notify us as soon as you receive confirmation from West Sussex County Council. We will contact you to update you on how this affects your account. 

Q. I have cancelled lessons but have a WSM instrument on hire. How can I return West Sussex Music property to you? 

A. If you have cancelled your lessons, please keep hold of our instrument until we are able to confirm where and how to return it. You will not be charged for instrument hire once your lessons have been cancelled. 

Q. I have paused activities and we hire a West Sussex Music instrument. Will I be charged for the instrument hire? 

A. Yes. While your child’s West Sussex Music activities are paused, we encourage them to practise.   

Q. My child’s start date was delayed by the Coronavirus situation. Can I have a refund of monies paid? 

During the current coronavirus situation, we are offering parents/carers the opportunity to pause activities from the start of the summer term, 20 April, until further notice. If you would like to pause activities on your account please complete the pause activities form here If you would like to cancel activities with no intention of returning to them, please complete our cancellation form here.  

Q. My child will be changing schools in September. Please can I cancel and have a refund? 

Thank you for letting us know about your child changing schools. Our usual process is to be in contact with all parents/carers of children due to change schools in May so that we can transfer lessons to their new school. If you know that you do not wish to transfer lessons to the new school, please complete our cancellation form here  

Lessons and activities 

Q. Can we receive online lessons? 

A. No. Regrettably, as from Wednesday 1 April 2020, we will be taking a temporary break from the delivery of instrumental and vocal lessons.  This was not an easy decision to make but, in order to survive the financial impact of the current coronavirus crisis we, like many other charities, need to take advantage of the scheme the Government has put in place to support employers and employees at this difficult time. By doing so, we can ensure that our staff and music teachers continue to get paid but, unfortunately, as furloughed employees, they will be unable to work over this period.  Our teachers had  been working hard to offer the opportunity for pupils to continue their learning and to fulfil the quota of spring term’s lessons via an online learning platform. We are most grateful to them, and to you, for engaging in this process but in order to comply with the  Government scheme our teachers canno t offer these from Wednesday 1 April. All online lessons scheduled for this date and beyond will need to be cancelled.   

Q. While schools are closed, what service is West Sussex Music offering to pupils? 

A. Regrettably, as from Wednesday 1 April 2020, we will be taking a temporary break from the delivery of instrumental and vocal lessons.   This was not an easy decision to make but, in order to survive the financial impact of the current coronavirus crisis we, like many other charities, need to take advantage of the scheme the Government has put in place to support employers and employees at this difficult time. By doing so, we can ensure that our staff and music teachers continue to get paid but, unfortunately, as furloughed employees, they are unable to work over this period.  

Q. Can I still contact my child’s teacher? 

A. As furloughed employees, our music teachers are unable to work or teach during our temporary break from the delivery of instrumental and vocal lessons. However, staff at their own discretion may wish to respond to communications from parents/carers. You will appreciate that West Sussex Music cannot direct them to do this.  

County Ensembles 

Q. Is the County Ensembles tour still going ahead to France in July?  

A. We are in touch with our tour operator, OneStage, and will heed the Government’s advice and comply with any measures they put in place. At present, the County Ensemble tour to the Loire Valley is still going ahead as planned. We will update all parents/carers of West Sussex Youth Orchestra and Wind Orchestra by Tuesday 5 May. 

Q. Am I still required to pay my tour instalments? 

A. Yes, please make your final tour payment in April as usual.  

Q. If the tour is cancelled, will I receive a refund? 

A. Yes.  

Q. How will County Ensemble auditions be arranged over the summer? 

A. If face to face auditions are not possible, then video auditions may be used instead. We will publicise arrangements to potential candidates later in the summer term. 

Q. Is the trip to the Hans Zimmerman concert still going ahead in July? 

A.  We remain in contact with the Royal Albert Hall and concert promoters. Once a decision has been made on whether the concert will be postponed or cancelled, we will be in touch. 

Exams 

Q. A WSM teacher arranged a Grade exam for my child. How do we rearrange this? 

A. Grade exams are arranged with assessment centres that will have their own arrangements during the Coronavirus situation. Please visit their website for specific details. Your child’s teacher will contact you directly once West Sussex Music activities resume and they are no longer on furlough leave. Please note that West Sussex Music does not administer Grade exams. 

Q. My child’s Grade exam was postponed due to the coronavirus situation. My child will need preparation lessons for their delayed exam. How will this be arranged? 

A. Your child’s teacher will contact you directly once West Sussex Music activities resume and they are no longer on furlough leave. 

Q. My child is due a certificate of achievement from their teacher, will we still receive this? 

A. Once West Sussex Music activities resume your child’s teacher will arrange for your certificate to be sent to you. 

Q. My question isn’t answered above, can I call you about my account? 

A. The West Sussex Music main office and instrument stores are now closed, and a small team is working remotely to answer your queries. Please email us your query to music@westsussexmusic.co.uk and we will endeavour to respond to you. Please allow us time to work through the high level of queries we have received.