Council defends music fee
MUSIC tuition in Argyll and Bute should be free, claims the MSP for the area – but the local authority disagrees and is issuing final demands to parents for unpaid bills.
The Oban Times recently reported that Michael Russell MSP had been given assurances from the Scottish Parliament that music tuition should be provided to pupils as part of the curriculum – though some pupils were still being charged.
Mr Russell said: ‘The council is continuing to charge and is adamant that it can do so as the legal situation referred to in earlier publicity relates only to lessons in schools – not to instrumental tuition.
‘So, in common with many other councils, it is charging for instrumental tuition and is entitled to do so.
‘I had hoped that it would reconsider the rise in charges that it made in the light of the protests from parents but it has gone ahead regardless.
‘I continue to be apprehensive about music tuition in schools as it doesn’t seem to me that there is support for music or other arts at the very top of the educational tree in the council as has been evidenced by this saga.’
An Argyll and Bute Council spokeswoman said: ‘ We continue to deliver a mixed and varied instrumental tuition programme.
‘Pupils receive one year free tuition then pay a fee with concessions appropriate to a young person’s circumstances.
‘All young people who are sitting national qualifications receive their tuition free.
‘This service is subsided by the council with the level being periodically reviewed.’