11 Sep 2012
The true extent of music tuition inequality in schools was revealed today at a Scottish Parliament Committee.
Evidence presented to Holyrood’s education committee told of vast differences in opportunities and the expense of tuition across the country.
Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith MSP, who asked for the issue to be debated today, said:
“I am deeply concerned about the wide variations which exist across Scotland and the fact that a growing number of local authorities are either increasing their tuition fees or introducing them for the first time.
“In particular, I am concerned that some local authorities are making extensive charges for SQA tuition and the fact that the legality of this is being questioned by parents and teachers.
“Music should be a core part of any curriculum – that is why it is embedded within the Curriculum for Excellence.
“But if councils are charging more extensively then it begs the question how many parents will be unable to meet the fees, meaning that music is not an option for their children when it comes to SQA subject choice.
“Not only does this damage pupils’ education but it clearly also has damaging implications for the cultural fabric of Scotland.
“That is something that has been remarked upon by artistes like Nicola Benedetti and Evelyn Glennie, and it is time for the SNP to sit up, listen and take action.”
The issue was debated at today’s Scottish Parliament education committee: