Thanks for your replies. DDs grammar is now technically an academy and the following seems to applyhttp://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/vateduma ... U70000.htm
The school is not registered for VAT, so they have to follow the guidance on the VAT 126 form which the bursar agreed to. Its just that they are dragging their heels on this when I think they should be eager to help us. I dont know what to do except to keep emailing her. Should I talk to the head?
Probably best to talk to the head of music/or the child's music teacher/orchestra co coordinator. They will presumably have to request that the instrument is purchased for your dc and is appropriate for their needs. The bursar will then have to sort out the paperwork, buy the instrument, raise an invoice for you to pay without the vat.
We purchased our son's trumpet through the school but it was new to him, so I doubt the vat man was involved.