There are three billing periods for instrument hire - the autumn, spring and summer terms. Instrument hire fees must be paid in advance.
You can pay using the 'Pay now' button below, or in one of the following ways
- Phone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224
- Post - please send a cheque payable to Somerset County Council (not Somerset Music) with the remittance slip from your invoice to SCIL, Taunton Academy, Cheddon Road, Taunton, TA2 7QP
It may take a little time for your payment to appear in our systems (this will vary depending on how the payment was made).
Sometimes, payment from a customer may 'cross in the post' with a reminder. However the payment was made (online, phone or by post), if it is not fully processed through the system before the reminder trigger date is reached a reminder will be automatically generated from our income system.
If you have made a payment but received a reminder shortly afterwards, it is likely that this has happened. However, if your payment was made some time ago or you would simply like to check whether your payment has arrived, please phone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.
Why we send invoices out early
Our invoices are usually sent out 28 days before the start of the term. This allows parents and carers to tell us in time if they don't need instrument hire for the following term, and gives us time to arrange for the instrument to be collected.
If your circumstances have changed and you are struggling to pay our invoice
We appreciate that a change in family circumstances (for example, redundancy, divorce, illness) can cause financial difficulties, and we are sensitive to this. The charge for instrument hire for children who are entitled to free school meals is reduced and you should let us know if this applies so that we can amend your records. For children who are looked after, instrument hire is free.
If you are having difficulties paying an invoice, please email us in the first instance, and we may be able to arrange an instalment plan of payments - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you no longer want to hire the instrument and want to return it.
You must email us to tell us that you want to return the instrument. Please do not simply return it to the school because we will have no information to arrange collection and you will still be charged for hire.
Under the terms and conditions of instrument hire that you signed at the start of your agreement, you must give 28 days notice to cancel hire. Please note that hire charges are for the term. There will be no refund of hire charges for instruments that are returned during the term.
Once you have emailed us, we will tell you the best day to return the instrument to your school for collection. For your own protection, please make sure you get a receipt from the school saying that you have given them the instrument. If the instrument goes missing this will be your evidence.
If your child has had an accident or illness and cannot play their instrument at present
Please get a letter from your child's doctor or the hospital confirming the details and send it to us so that we can amend the charges.
Broken or damaged instruments
If an instrument is damaged or broken, you should not try to repair it yourself. Musical instruments require specialist repair. Please contact us and we will arrange for the instrument to be collected. We will assess the damage and make the necessary repairs. Depending on our stock levels, we may give you a replacement instrument while the old one is being repaired.
Pupils who hire an instrument from us should take proper care of it at all times. While we will cover the cost of any repairs needed due to reasonable 'wear and tear', our hire charges do not cover negligence, wilful damage or damage caused by anything other than normal wear and tear.
Under the terms of your hire agreement, we will invoice you for any costs of repairs.
Lost or stolen instruments
Please tell us immediately if an instrument is lost or stolen. Our hire charges do not cover loss or theft. You are responsible for paying for a replacement instrument if it is lost or stolen.
Paying after the deadline payment date
We need to send invoices out to customers around a month before the start of term. While we understand that this may cause difficulty for some people, it is necessary to ensure that we can process payments and arrange collection of instruments that are no longer needed. If you are unable to pay the invoice within the time period please email us telling us when you expect to be able to pay and we will consider your application for late payment.
If you don't contact us and the invoice is still unpaid, we will ask you to return the instrument.