Call for music tuition in schools to be free for all

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LOTHIANS Green MSP Alison Johnstone has urged the Scottish Government to end charges for music tuition.

Across Scotland, pupils pay almost £3 million to councils each year for music lessons, according to figures obtained by teaching union the Educational Institue for Scotland.

In a debate at Holyrood, Education Secretary Mike Russell said fees for musical instrument tuition in schools were “undesirable” but difficult to avoid during a squeeze on public finances.

Ms Johnstone said: “The teaching of music should be free to all students, allowing them to achieve their full potential, regardless of financial circumstances.”

Edinburgh, East Lothian and West Lothian councils do not charge for music tuition. Midlothian charges £150 a year, but pupils receiving free school meals or clothing grants are exempt.