I have learned from a WLFS parent that music, the 'specialism' of WLFS, comes at more than double the cost of other pupils getting music tuition in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Costs for a term of individual 30 minute lessons are £130, reduced to £87 for 20 minute lessons. Shared lessons (groups) are £65 per term for 30 minute lessons, and 20 minute shared lessons are £44 per term. No mention was made of the concessionary rates at WLFS.
This seems to me to be significantly higher than the costs of music lessons through local LA schools. Shared lessons are typically chargeable at £70 per hour per term (vs £65 per half hour at WLFS) - and £35 for concessions.
Many local schools offer a one year instrument loan - but it appears you need to rent the instrument at WLFS. Instruments are expensive, especially if one is not sure of a child's commitment. Rental is better than buying blind, but a loan is even more sensitive, and less prohibitive for those who want to know for sure if their child will want to continue. In the case of some families, lesson plus rental cost may be prohibitive.
That is a shame, especially if it is at a much higher cost than would be available at a true community school.
Additionally, some parents have been mentioning that they were hit up at the WLFS introductory evening to pay a minimum 'voluntary' contribution of £35.00 per month. This was followed up by requests for donations to the endowment - in the same email as a request to be sure to let them know if one changed their minds about taking up a place.
Though WLFS claims to want to deliver things that might not be otherwise available to the underprivileged of Hammersmith and Fulham, this kind of environment may inadvertently contribute to the segregation of those less fortunate - through peer pressure, shame, and/or simply through being financially disadvantaged.