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HMRC internal manual

VAT Education Manual

Group 6 Item 1 Education, research and vocational training provided by eligible bodies: what is education?: definition

Education means a course or lesson of instruction or study in any subject, whether or not that subject is normally taught in schools, colleges or universities and regardless of where and when it takes place. Examples are courses of instruction in:

  • dance
  • physical training
  • sports
  • flower arranging; or
  • arts and crafts.

The key word is instruction. Education does not include:

  • supervision, for example for safety reasons, where no instruction is offered; or
  • services which simply facilitate learning; or
  • supplies leading to the delivery of education by others which are not education in their own right.

Any registration fee charged is considered to be part of the overall provision of education.