Music tuition fees scrapped ahead of new school year

The SNP had pledged during the Holyrood election to eliminate fees for pupils learning a musical instrument.

Music tuition fees scrapped ahead of new school year iStock

There will be no fees charged for children learning a musical instrument in the new school year, the Scottish Government has announced.

It comes after a funding package was agreed between ministers and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities).

Music tuition bills will be removed through an investment of £7m, whilst councils will also receive £6m to waive core curriculum charges which can be levied on families.

That could include the cost of materials required for home economics or for theatre trips associated with drama qualifications.

The agreement reached will cover the 2021-2022 academic year and follows the pledge made by the SNP in May’s Holyrood election that they would eliminate music tuition fees.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said she will continue to work with COSLA to develop a “sustainable and funded model” for future years.

“My priority is to ensure the best possible outcomes for all of Scotland’s children and young people, whatever their background,” she said.

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

“Today’s announcement means families will not see bills for musical tuition or core curriculum activities in the new school year.

“I will continue to work with COSLA and local authorities to develop a sustainable and funded model for future years.”

COSLA children and young people spokesperson, councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “Councils recognise the importance of instrumental music tuition for the learning and development of our children and young people.

“Where fees were in place for tuition this is due to a range of local pressures on core council budgets. 

“The one year funding package agreed between COSLA Leaders and Scottish Government will allow for the removal of fees in the coming academic year and the maintenance of existing levels of provision, so that fees and charges are not a barrier to learning an instrument.”