The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)

child playing clarinet

Windblowers are very pleased to be able to offer the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme to customers who fit the relevant criteria.

The AIPS is a government approved scheme enabling you to buy an instrument for your child without paying the VAT. There are certain conditions which must be met, and all the information you need to know is in the guide below.

Qualifying for the scheme

The AIPS scheme has been running for many years and is designed to help parents purchase musical instruments more affordably. For the purchase to qualify for the AIPS, the following criteria must be met:

  • The instrument or item must be sold to the local authority or school and then supplied onto the pupil or their guardian;
  • The pupil must be receiving state education;
  • The instrument must be used as part of their musical tuition;
  • The instrument must be appropriate to the pupil’s needs; and
  • The price charged to the pupil for the purchase of the instrument must be at or below the cost paid by the school.

How the AIPS scheme works

We regularly provide an instrument via the AIPS scheme to schools and music centres around the UK. Our team is on-hand to help with any queries you may have about the scheme or about choosing the right instrument. Just contact us to ask any questions and we’ll be happy to help.

In order to take advantage of this scheme, the following steps must be taken:

  • First, check with your School/Academy/Music Centre that they operate the 'Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme';
  • Visit our showroom and hand pick your own instrument from a large selection or telephone and reserve an instrument with the help of our team;
  • Obtain the necessary order form from your School/Academy/Music Centre. Alternatively, an order form can be provided by Windblowers if not available from the School/Academy/Music Centre. This will then be completed at Windblowers containing details of the Pupil, Parent/Guardian, School, items being purchased and the price to be paid;
  • The Parent/Guardian gives the completed form to the School/Academy/Music Centre and the appropriate money to cover the ex-VAT price of the instrument and associated accessories (if any), plus an admin fee where applicable;
  • The School/Academy/Music Centre will send Windblowers a purchase order matching the details on the order form;
  • Once the purchase order is received by Windblowers, an invoice will be raised and sent to the School/Academy/Music Centre;
  • Once payment is received by Windblowers, the Parent/Guardian will be contacted to arrange collection/delivery of the instrument and associated accessories.

The scheme has the approval of HM Revenue & Customs and enables the School/Academy/Music Centre to reclaim the VAT on the purchase of musical instruments where they are used in the provision of education. The instrument will become the property of the Pupil or Parent/Guardian.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this scheme, please call us on 0115 941 0543 to arrange an appointment. We would advise testing any instrument you may be interested in where possible, and suggest discussing with the Pupil's teacher which instruments may be appropriate.

As with all instruments sold by Windblowers, your selection will be thoroughly inspected before collection to make sure you get the very best out of it.

Please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any questions about this scheme.


Q: Do I actually own the instrument?

A: Yes, if you purchase through the AIPS scheme you are still the eventual owner of the instrument. The school/authority is just a facilitator in the transaction. This means all your warranty is just like normal and fulfilled by Windblowers.

Q: Does it apply to all Woodwind instruments?

A: Yes. As long as the instrument is suitable for the player (and portable) the scheme can be applied to any new instrument we sell. For example, you may be looking for a new beginners’ instrument, or you can also use the AIPS scheme to upgrade to a higher quality mid-range or professional model if the player is progressing accordingly.

Q: When we choose the instrument in-store can we take it away with us?

A: No, but we do reserve that specific instrument for you. We give you the serial no. of the exact instrument you tried, and we hold it until the AIPS official order and payment comes in from the school/authority. You can then collect the instrument from Windblowers or have it delivered to the School/Music Centre for collection. This is one of the requirements of the scheme.

Q: Can I use the AIPS scheme via a Private/Fee-Paying school?

A: No. Unfortunately, the scheme can only be used by LA schools/music centres and Academies.

Q: Can I use the AIPS scheme to buy second hand instruments?

A: In some cases, yes – please check with our team before ordering. If the instrument belongs to Windblowers, you can use the AIPS Scheme. If it is being sold as a commission sale, then the instrument has no VAT in the price.