Service Level Agreements: Opportunities, commitments and conditions

Services provided to schools can be ordered through a Service Level Agreement issued annually.

  • Main SLAs will be distributed to schools in early May, for completion and return by Friday 21 June.
  • Schools with KS2 children should complete a similar booking form for First Access projects and National Curriculum teaching. These should be returned by Friday 17 May.
  • Primary schools partnering with NMPAT on the Direct Billing scheme should indicate their preferences for instruments to be offered on their main SLA, to be returned by Friday 17 May.

Thank you for your support in continuing to work with us. To aid the completion of SLAs, please refer to the guidance below.

Please indicate in the table, in Section A of your SLA return, the amount of teaching you require for small group or individual music lessons to be delivered in your school for the coming year. The hourly charge for instrumental and vocal teaching will be £40 per hour, for 33 weeks across the 2019 to 2020 academic year.

You can also request support for clubs and ensembles, Music Therapy and support for SEND students (please also see section G). To identify the correct staff, times and days of the week please provide as much detail as you can.

Instrumental and vocal teaching is usually provided from KS2 to KS5, though some upper strings and recorder work might be appropriate at KS1.

The contract applies for the full year. See terms and conditions.

The standard minimum visit is 1 hour. Visits of 30 to 50 minutes will be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.

Your visiting teachers will be happy to liaise with you about arranging tuition for next year. If you would like to explore widening the disciplines in your school, please contact the relevant Head of Department:

​In schools which have agreed to be part of the pilot direct billing arrangement, the financial relationship is between NMPAT and the parents.

The amount of teaching and range of instruments taught in school will be determined as a result of direct communication with parents, so there is no need to complete section A.

Teaching is delivered during the school day as 15 minute individual lessons, though in some circumstances this may be combined into a shared half hour.

Schools inviting NMPAT to operate as a supplier of music education in their school, in a direct billing arrangement, undertake to abide by the same professional relationship which currently exists between NMPAT, its staff and the school concerned.

See Terms and Conditions for further information.

If you would like to discuss widening the range of disciplines in your school, please contact the relevant Head of Department:

primary school children playing recordersNMPAT employs experienced class teachers who can be offered to your school to provide whole class national curriculum music teaching for Key Stages 1 to 5 and support for Early Years and Foundation Stage.

Fees and charges

The hourly rate for whole class curriculum teaching will be £46 per hour. Number of weeks by negotiation, but staff are usually available for the full year and can be booked for additional weeks by liaison with the teacher and NMPAT office.

See our Terms and Conditions and General Expectations for Partnership working, for further information.

Contact, support and advice

If you would like support in this area for 2019 to 2020 please contact Chris Hiscock by Friday 17 May 2019 We anticipate that demand will exceed supply.

Specific expectations for schools requiring national curriculum classroom teaching

To enable effective practice, schools must provide a context and suitable learning environment for classroom lessons to take place by:  

  • providing an appropriate classroom for music making to take place
  • providing an appropriate range of pitched, unpitched classroom instruments, sound makers and beaters along with their location
  • providing access to white / smart board technology and speakers
  • providing internet access, Wi-Fi codes and any possible limitations e.g. filters
  • liaising with the teacher about any specific requirements connected with the curriculum, to enable effective planning to be carried out e.g. termly topics or cross curricular themes
  • providing class registers
  • providing a TA who knows the class to advise on specific pupil issues and the implemntation of the school behaviour policy
  • advising the music teacher about any pupils with special learning needs, which may affect the learning of those pupils
  • informing the music teacher who is the school’s child protection and safeguarding, designated person and providing a school policy
class of primary school children playing various instruments as instructed by a teacher

Schools with KS2 students. Please note that bookings for First Access projects for 2018 to 2019 are via the 'Preliminary Section' sent to schools as a separate document at the beginning of term.

To access your grant and enable us to schedule before the end of term, please ensure you return the First Access request by Friday 17 May.

For further information please visit our First Access Projects page.

‘Let’s Sing’ for KS1 and KS2: 5 weekly sessions of 45 minutes with one of our vocal specialists working with your chosen class. Fun singing sessions will be tailored to meet the needs of the students, who will learn a variety of repertoire and musical skills in line with the National Curriculum. Where appropriate the project can culminate in a short performance of their work - £225 per class.

Big Sings: We organise annual Big Sing opportunities bringing schools together to perform as a large choir in a prestigious venue. Participation is by invitation and subject to a nominal participation charge of £150 per school. Schools are invited to request to be considered for inclusion in a Big Sing, but places are limited and cannot be guaranteed. Please indicate on your SLA return.

Cluster Projects: We can provide an opportunity for your KS1 or KS2 cluster, or Academy Chain, to collaborate on a combined choral event. These projects are tailored to the needs of the specific group of schools. There will be a nominal charge which would be dependent on the service provided. Guide price c. £46 per school per workshop. We would welcome hearing from schools interested in leading this work in their cluster or Academy Chain.

Applications from clusters to provide a bespoke Big Sing experience are welcomed and subject to individual negotiation. Costs will be dependent on the amount of vocal input and administration required from NMPAT.

For all enquiries related to vocal projects please contact Beth Hodgson, Head of Vocal Studies

a band with drummer, two guitarists and keyboard player singingOur New Beats recital team work with students of all ages at KS3 and KS4 on a course that looks to break down the perceived barriers to song writing.

Working with a professional vocalist, bassist, guitarist and drummer students will explore:

  • style
  • instrumentation
  • chord sequence theory and
  • lyric writing

The course is practically based with students encouraged to use their own instrumental or vocal skills. By the end of the course students will have their own song ready to be recorded and / or performed. The course lasts for 2 sessions (these do not need to be consecutive) which includes a performance in week one and can be tailored to the needs of your students. This is currently provided by the Trust free at source to maintained secondary schools on a Tuesday morning between 9am to 12pm. Subject to availability.

Please indicate interest by ticking the box on the SLA return.

KS2 Recital Team visits

Alongside New Beats, the other three recital teams: Brass, Strings and Woodwind, operate mainly in Primary Schools as part of the First Access programme, funded by the National Music Grant. This ensures that all children get a live music experience during their primary phase at least once, but probably more often.

Visits are offered to schools free on a rota basis by the NMPAT office and a school could reasonably expect to receive a visit at least once every two years. The office will contact schools when an opportunity arises.

Schools are welcome to make a request for a visit, but should note that these will still be offered on an equitable rota basis

NMPAT continues to be a premier partner of Charanga and are able to offer all Northamptonshire and Rutland schools access to Charanga's award-winning musical school programme.

Musical School is a living cloud-based resource that brings together great music, modern pedagogy and the latest educational technology. It supports all aspects of music in school including the new music curriculum, as well as providing children and their families with opportunities to continue learning and exploring music at home through Music World.

Musical School is available through NMPAT at a discounted rate of £195 per year. You can sign up for a 30-day trial period before ordering.

You can request a licence for Musical School on your SLA or at any time during the year. For further information please contact Chris Hiscock, Head of Curriculum Music

​Reach the Stars is our programme for children with additional needs, designed to devise bespoke programmes for each of the Special Schools and DSP units in the County.

Led by specialists Gideon Malitskie and Emily-May Roebuck, this project was launched in 2017 to complement existing provision and provide specific specialism in working with children with additional needs.

Over a two year period, 2017 to 2019, each of the Special Schools and larger DSP units will have a bespoke, fully funded Reach the Stars Project which we hope will lead to a growth in music and arts provision in the future. This will consist of up to 20 hours bespoke project work in your school with two specialists. Value - up to £2,300.

Further bespoke programmes can be requested from the team:

  • 2 person project: £2,300
  • 1 person project: £1,150

For further information about Reach the Stars, please contact them at

Instrumental projects for Special Schools with Primary children

We can provide each Special School with a fully funded bespoke music project. Either a full Reach the Stars project or a First Access style programme, tailored to the needs of the students.

If you are either:

  • a special school scheduled for a Reach the Stars project, but would also like a 10 week instrumental project
  • a school with a DSP unit, who have had a First Access project but would also like an additional First Access style project tailored for children with additional needs

These can be purchased at:

  • 1 member of NMPAT staff working in partnership with your staff £600
  • 2 members of NMPAT staff £1,050

Please indicate on the SLA return if you would like to be included in the programme this year and we will contact you for a discussion.

Small group and individual tuition

We can offer small group and individual attention for children with additional needs which will include the use of instruments, but not necessarily be focussed on any one instrument. These can be booked as an annual contract in Section A of the form £40 per hour.

Schools who have completed a full Reach the Stars project can access the first 20 hours of continuation work with small groups of students at 50% discount.

Music Therapy

As part of the Reach the Stars programme, we are now able to offer Music Therapy as a service for schools and individuals.

Music Therapy sessions, with a qualified therapist are available at £46 per hour, with time allocated between the client and clinical reporting on a 2:1 ratio.

The nature of this work will be bespoke to each setting and individual. For a discussion to explore purchasing this service, please contact Gideon Malitskie

​We would be happy to support you in any aspect of your school’s musical development and can provide consultancy support for:

  • induction of new staff
  • support for non-specialist teachers
  • developing a music curriculum within your school
  • teaching and learning in the music classroom
  • support for Arts Mark application
  • preparation for Ofsted

Fees and charges

Bespoke consultancy work is charged at £70 per hour or £350 per day, but please contact us to discuss your individual needs.

For further information please contact Chris Hiscock, Head of Curriculum Music on

DFE Data return: Please help us report to DFE about the level of ensemble activity in your school. We have one of the most musical counties in the country and we want to shout about it.

Customer satisfaction: Please also tell us how we are doing. It is important that we know what our customers think of us and we appreciate any comments or thoughts you might like to share.

Last year 96% of your responses graded us as 'Good' or 'Outstanding'. We also learned that it is in the area of support for your school and communication that we need to improve the most. We hope that this new way of presenting the SLA information will help with both of those issues.

School email addresses: Help us communicate more effectively with you, by checking the email addresses we hold for your school. Any changes can be indicated on the SLA return, or can be made at any time by visiting and logging into your school account from any of the registered email addresses. A password can be requested from the site.

​Please check the information we hold on our database about your contact details, sign and date your form before returning it to us.

primary school children playing handheld drums

Percussion projects in your school

Local Professional Percussionist Tim Palmer is able to offer a range of projects for KS2 schools.

If you would like to discuss the projects before booking, please contact Tim Green, Head of Percussion,

primary school children playing celloNMPAT commits to provide for this Service Level Agreement:

The ability and capacity to provide for all of your musical education requirements, including:

  • First Access whole class teaching and progression routes
  • small group and individual lessons
  • music curriculum delivery
  • ensemble coaching, small group teaching and music clubs
  • instrumental and vocal provision
  • access to exam entry and medal assessment – ABRSM and Trinity – and to accompanists
  • access to continuation routes including Regional Centres and auditioned County Ensembles

NMPAT provides specialist music education professionals – all of our staff are:

  • subject to a safer recruitment process and enhanced DBS disclosures
  • trained and certificated in Safeguarding for children and young people
  • expected to wear NMPAT identification
  • highly skilled and qualified music professionals that participate in ongoing CPD and keep up to date with developments in their practice

Access to and provision from NMPAT’s stock of over 10,000 maintained instruments:

  • Instruments provided for all First Access delivery
  • Instrument loan available for small group delivery
  • Access to specialist and high value instruments
  • Teaching and practice instruments – e.g. double basses in schools

NMPAT provides the management, administration and organisational infrastructure to support delivery, including:

  • all appropriate employer’s liability and public liability insurances
  • management of staff and resolution of concerns or disputes
  • timetabling
  • administration
  • all matters relating to NICs, holiday pay, absences, sickness, maternity or paternity leave, etc.
  • subsidised costs – through National Music Grant and additional fundraising from other sources – including some access to bursaries and fees remissions for students

Collaboration with NMPAT provides access for young people to a wide range of progression routes and follow up opportunities:

  • Regional Centres and Rock Schools
  • residential courses
  • masterclasses, family play days, careers events, audition support
  • Auditioned County ensembles
  • concerts and performance opportunities – including participation opportunities with the National Festival of Music for Youth
  • bursaries and fees remission support
  • theory and aural support for exam entrants

Schools can expect their NMPAT instrumental teachers to be willing to:

  • have a coherent scheme of work for projects, as appropriate (e.g. for First Access)
  • liaise with parents through the use of NMPAT practice diaries
  • plan sessions with shared deliverers, as appropriate
  • discuss progress with schools and teachers
  • support schools with concerts as far as possible
  • discuss opportunities for ongoing support facilitated by school staff, as appropriate
  • provide written reports once a year for small group and individual instrumental students

primary school children playing violins

As a school inviting NMPAT to work in partnership, you commit to:

  • Ensure that there is a designated contact person to liaise with NMPAT and to provide their name and contact.
  • Offer a direct line of communication with NMPAT teachers and make them feel valued as members of staff in the school.
  • Ensure the NMPAT teachers are aware of relevant dates in the school calendar, e.g. INSET days, school trips, concerts, and similar.
  • Provide the NMPAT teachers with all relevant medical and social information about pupils being taught and Health and Safety information relating to your site.
  • Ensure there is an appropriate space and environment for the project or teaching to take place, with suitable visibility for safeguarding purposes and where music making can take place uninterrupted and without disturbing others.
  • Where appropriate, enable concerts and sharing of work with parents and audiences - for example at the end of a project - and to liaise over the administration, presentation and delivery of these.
  • Where students participating in small group and individual lessons and are provided with an instrument, to support the requirement for this to be registered with our instrument loan scheme via paperwork administered by trust staff.
  • From time to time be invited, as representatives from the school, to attend concerts or events and experience NMPAT’s work in practice, particularly if the school’s students are performing.
  • From time to time, NMPAT may ask schools to disseminate information to students about our Regional Centres / County Ensembles / or other activities.  Please do let us know if there are opportunities to provide information to be included in school newsletters, book bags, or similar.

primary school child playing the violin

Students must provide (where appropriate) their own music books, strings and reeds, as advised by the instrumental or vocal teacher. Every effort will be made to offer students the free loan of an instrument (subject to availability and not including guitars, keyboards and drum kits) particularly in the early stages of study

Advice for students

  • You will be expected to commit to their learning and play between lessons – remember the more you play, the better you get.
  • You will be provided with practice diaries to write down what they should be practicing between lessons and to record when they have practiced.  
  • Aim to make music every day if you can.
  • Always remember to think about your posture.
  • Listen for a good sound.
  • Have fun when you play, that way your personality will shine through your music.

primary school children playing cellos

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