Huge drop in primary school music teachers

9 Apr 2019

The number of dedicated music teachers working in Scotland’s primary schools has plummeted by 42 per cent in the past seven years.

Latest figures have revealed there were just 62 teachers across the country whose main job in primaries was to teach music last year.

That compares to 108 in 2011, and signals a year-on-year drop under the SNP government.

It’s the latest statistic to show the neglect of music tuition by nationalist ministers, despite high-profile campaigns to increase the number of young people being taught an instrument.

Numerous studies have shown learning a musical instrument not only helps a child across other subject areas, but improves their overall wellbeing.

Yet, according to the official Scottish Government statistics, there are now 10 local authority areas which have no dedicated music teachers working in primary schools at all.

The 62 working in 2018 is a reduction of three from the previous year, and 16 from 2016.

The figures have fallen consistently every year since 2011.

Scottish Conservative children and young people spokeswoman Alison Harris said:

“This is a thoroughly depressing statistic which highlights the neglect of the SNP government in this area.

“We’re not talking about a statistical blip here – it’s a 42 per cent decrease in the space of seven years.

“That will mean a significantly reduced experience for primary school children all over Scotland.

“The SNP has been warned for years about how important it is for young children to be given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

“Yet it’s allowed teacher numbers in this area to completely collapse.

“If this doesn’t change soon, thousands more youngsters will miss out on opportunities which could shape and influence their entire lives.”