HMRC have issued guidance to local authorities concerning the sales of goods incidental or closely related to education. Providing the item sold is essential for and integral to the pupil’s or student’s curriculum education or appropriate extra-curricular activity, e.g. a school orchestra or sports team, its supply can be treated as a non-business activity closely related to that education.
This includes the supply of both minor items, such as pens, ink, exercise books and calculators, and also more significant items such as musical instruments and laptop computers, as well as school transport, catering (¶52-025) and accommodation, e.g. in boarding schools, providing that: