Music lessons at the SCHOOL will be free for all young people from the start of the new term, thanks to more than Â£ 7million in cash from the Scottish Government.
In addition to making money available to councils to waive fees, ministers are providing an additional Â£ 6million to get rid of fees in ‘core program’ courses – eliminating the need for families to pay items such as ingredients for home economics classes or theatrical trips for drama studies.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the money – which fulfills the promises made in the SNP election manifesto – meant that the education of young people would no longer be limited by the ability to pay of their family.
This follows a high-profile campaign to remove fees for music lessons, which was supported by prominent violinist Nicola Benedetti, among others.
Somerville said: âMy priority is to ensure the best possible outcomes for all Scottish children and young people, regardless of their background.
âAll 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.
âToday’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: âThe councils recognize the importance of instrumental music lessons for the learning and development of our children and youth.
âWhen tuition fees were in place, it was due to a series of local pressures on the main council budgets. The one-year funding program agreed between Cosla’s leaders and the Scottish Government will allow tuition fees to be waived over the next academic year and the existing benefit levels to be maintained, so that fees and charges are not an obstacle to learning an instrument.