Course Terms & Conditions

About Us

The National Schools Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) is operated by Malvern College, registered charity no 527578. The annual course is run at Malvern College, College Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3DF.


If you are new to NSSO, you must register an account online and then complete the player application form for the course you wish your child(ren) to attend.

All new member auditions will be conducted by video submission, free of charge. Participants in previous courses and those who have contributed to our online activity will not need to audition but will need to submit a short recording of themselves playing recently in order to be placed in a suitable ensemble for their current standard.

For orchestral players, your application is for membership of the NSSO organisation (not a specific orchestra); places are offered in the appropriate orchestra as a result of auditions. NSSO and Malvern College reserve the right not to accept any individual onto a course, in which case the deposit paid will be refunded.


The course fees for 2023 are £895.00 (Residential orchestra) and £645.00 (Non-residential orchestra). Course fees are inclusive of all tuition, local transport and the use of social and sporting facilities at Malvern College, as per the schedule for the course.

All payments must be made online via your NSSO account. Please note that the £150.00 deposit, which is payable on submission of application, is non-refundable and non-transferable. The only exception to this is when NSSO is not able to offer a place to an applicant, for whatever reason, or if the course is cancelled.

The balance of all fees (less any bursary award) is due by 1st March 2023. If the balance remains unpaid after that date the deposit will be forfeited, unless a prior agreement has been made with the NSSO/Malvern College accounts team regarding your final payment. Once paid, all fees are non-refundable save at the absolute discretion of Malvern College. It is advisable to take out your own personal insurance to cover this eventuality.


Means-tested bursaries are available up to a maximum of 50% of the course fee.  Bursary applications must be completed by 31st December 2022.  We cannot accept applications after this date unless there are funds still available for awards. Bursaries are awarded at the discretion of NSSO/Malvern College. For more information and to download our application form, please visit our bursaries page.


Whilst the programme details are published in good faith, NSSO reserves the right to make any necessary changes to repertoire and artists if circumstances require. Such changes shall not be deemed as sufficient reason for any player to withdraw from the course. Refunds of fees are only made if the course does not run.


The insurance of personal possessions, including musical instruments, is a parental responsibility. NSSO, Malvern College and members of staff cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage and parents are advised to ensure that their insurance cover is adequate.
All personal items should be clearly marked with the owner’s name.
Personal accident insurance is recommended as sporting activities, however well-supervised, inevitably carry a small risk of accidental injury.
Use of the swimming pool is only available to competent swimmers, with parental consent.


Transport to Malvern in time for the start of the course is a parental responsibility, as is the collection of participants at the end of the course. Local travel in Malvern College minibuses driven by fully insured, authorised members of staff, is included in the course fee.
Seatbelts, where fitted in any vehicle, must be worn as a condition of travel.


There are first-aid trained staff on site and available at all times during the course. We have an arrangement with a local GP surgery where children can be seen if needed (a charge may apply) and there is also a community hospital in Malvern for minor injuries.
It is essential that we are fully informed in advance of the course, on the Personal Information Form, of any medical requirements, medication etc and of any other issues in general which might affect the well-being of the child. Failure to do so, and which in the opinion of the pastoral staff is prejudicial to the welfare of the child or of other course members, may result in the child being asked to leave the course. In such cases no refund of fees will be made.
Our pastoral staff are able to look after and dispense medication if required and parents will also be asked in advance of the course for permission to dispense common household medication e.g. painkillers.


There will be a small number of house rules which must be observed. These are all matters of common sense in order to ensure the smooth running of the course and the well-being of all participants.
It is important that all players enjoy the course and are able to give of their best.
Possession or use of any form of alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances is not permitted and infringement will inevitably lead to exclusion from the course, without any refund of fees.
NSSO/Malvern College reserve the right to exclude any person whose behaviour is unacceptable or disruptive or who is unable to comply with instructions given by staff. In such circumstances, no refund will be available and any associated costs, such as transport home, will be a parental responsibility.
Deliberate or reckless damage of college property will be charged to parents.


Contact telephone numbers for pastoral staff will be issued at the start of the course.
Mobile phones are permitted but must be switched off during all rehearsals and activities. Misuse will result in confiscation.  For our younger members their mobile phones may be collected and held safely by resident staff and issued at fixed times during the day.


Accommodation for our orchestras is in boarding houses, generally in single or 2/3 bedded rooms and some in multi-bedded dormitories. Wherever possible we try to meet requests for room sharing.
Pastoral staff live in the same house during the course and all have DBS clearance.

There will be fire drills during the week.

All meals are taken together, and food is provided by the Malvern College catering team, who are well used to catering for special dietary requirements.  We can only cater for dietary requirements if we know about them so please ensure details are completed on the Personal Information Form for each child.


Photographs are taken and video/audio recordings made during the course.
These are used only for archive and publicity purposes. Individual players are never identified. However, we recognise that, for a variety of reasons, it may not be appropriate for some children to feature in such photos or recordings and there is an opportunity to opt out on the Personal Information Form. Please contact us if you have any concerns.


The NSSO is part of Malvern College and we operate with the same safeguarding policy. All of our staff undergo training in line with our policies and have enhanced DBS clearance. A link to our policy can be found here.


Please refer to our NSSO Privacy Policy.

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If you have an enquiry about any aspect of NSSO please feel free to get in touch:

NSSO, Malvern College, College Road, Malvern, WR14 3DF

T: 01684 581695


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