Cuts to Edinburgh music tuition under fire

Pupils playing musical instruments at Broughton High School.
Pupils playing musical instruments at Broughton High School.
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A FORMER MSP and teacher has hit out at council plans to cut free instrumental music tuition across schools in Edinburgh.

In a letter to the Evening News today, ex-Green leader Robin Harper said he believed music classes were just as important as maths or English.

The city council’s finance and resource committee claimed in its latest budget report that cutting free instrumental tuition could plug its funding gap by £1.6 million by 2020.

It added that 25 per cent of the current music tuition budget would be ringfenced to support children and families who can’t afford to pay for the lessons.

But Mr Harper argued it “will be impossible to draw a fair line between those parents who can be expected to be able to pay and those for whom the fees will cause a difficulty”. He said: “This is a lose, lose, lose, proposal.”

A city council spokesperson said: “This proposal is about exploring different ways of providing our music service.

“This could include the concept of a social enterprise model, which would ensure Edinburgh’s most vulnerable pupils continue to receive free music tuition.

“The budget process is ongoing and it is important to remember that these are only proposals.”

Comment – Page 18
Letters – 20-21