Scottish schoolchildren will receive free music lessons under new plans

Music lessons at the SCHOOL will be free for all young people from the start of the new term, thanks to more than £ 7million in cash from the Scottish Government.

In addition to making money available to councils to waive fees, ministers are providing an additional £ 6million to get rid of fees in ‘core program’ courses – eliminating the need for families to pay for items such as ingredients for home economics courses. or theater trips for drama studies.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the money – which fulfills promises made in the SNP’s election manifesto – meant that the education of young people would no longer be constrained by the ability to pay. their family.

This follows a high-profile campaign to remove music lesson fees, which was backed by prominent violinist Nicola Benedetti and Mogwai star Stuart Braithwaite, among others.

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Somerville said: “My priority is to ensure the best possible outcomes for all Scottish children and young people, regardless of their background.

“All children should have the best start in life and the ability to participate in the essentials of education should never be limited by a child’s ability to pay.

“Today’s announcement means families won’t see bills for music lessons or core program activities in the new school year.”

The announced funding will cover these costs for the 2021-22 academic year, with Somerville promising to work with local government leaders within the Cosla councils organization to “develop a sustainable and funded model for years to come.”

Stephen McCabe, spokesperson for Cosla for Children and Youth, said: “The councils recognize the importance of instrumental music lessons for the learning and development of our children and youth.

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“When tuition fees were in place for tuition fees, it was due to a series of local pressures on main council budgets. The one-year funding program agreed between Cosla’s leaders and the Scottish Government will allow for the abolition of tuition fees over the next academic year and the maintenance of existing levels of benefit, so that fees and charges are not an obstacle to learning an instrument.

He added: “We welcome the commitment of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to work with Cosla and her sector partners to examine the intent, impact and broader implications of this policy intervention. from the Scottish Government and to develop a long-term model. long-term sustainability of instrumental music education services across Scotland, which must include sustainable funding arrangements for all boards.

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