Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA’s Children and Young People Spokesperson said:
“The report from the Education and Skills Committee in relation to instrumental music tuition is welcome. We will consider the recommendations in the report carefully before responding to the Committee. Local authorities recognise the value that learning a musical instrument has in children and young people’s development.
“We note that the report recognises the financial pressures on local authorities. These pressures are not insignificant. This year’s draft budget sees Local Authorities Budgets cut by a further £237 million which with the cumulative impact of successive cuts since 2011/12 puts councils in an extremely difficult situation. No local authority makes the decision to introduce or increase charges for any service lightly. However, the financial situation for local authorities continues to be difficult and as a consequence Councils have faced difficult decisions about funding for essential services.
All local authorities have committed to ensuring that that those on the lowest incomes or those who are studying for a music qualification are not subjected to charges. In addition, we are working closely with partners to produce guidance for local authorities on best practice.”