Music tuition fees to be waived in next school year

Issued by High Life Highland

Over the next few weeks, High Life Highland will be contacting the families of Highland school pupils to advise them that their music tuition fees are being waived for the 2021-22 academic year.

The move comes following a funding package being introduced as part of the Scottish Government’s ‘First Steps’ document which committed to abolishing fees for instrumental music tuition in the first 100 days of the new Government.

Speaking about the changes, Ian Ross, Chair of High Life Highland commented, “Since adopting music tuition into the Charity, High Life Highland has seen pupil participation in the service delivered continue to increase. This growth only enhances our view that the music tution delivered by High Life Highland to school across the region plays a vital role in terms of the learning and development of children and young people. Therefore it is positive to see that, in taking this decision, the Scottish Government is recognising the importance in developing skills to play a musical instrument.

“However, it is crutial that the music tuition service HLH delivered to the 3,700 pupils on behalf of The Highland Council pre-pandemic is sustained and protected throughout and beyond this current initiative. We will be working with colleagues in the authority to ensure they are supplied with all the information they need to enable them to feedback to COSLA and the Scottish Government as to any broader implication of the new policy.”

Councillor John Finlayson, Education Committee Chair said, “The Council recognises the great service the many High Life Highland music instructors deliver across our Highland Schools. The Council’s Charity led the way in Scotland during the pandemic, ensuring as many children and young people were able to continue with remotely delivered music tuition throughout the various lockdown stages.

“The Highland Council has received confirmation from the Scottish Government that it is committed to working with local authorities to develop a model for a long-term sustainable instrumental tuition service, which includes the ongoing funding arrangments. I understand that Officials from the Scottish Government and COSLA are working together to consider the intent and impact of the free music tution in schools.

“Music is a major part of both our Highland and Scottish culture, and it is important that as many of our school pupils get the opportunity to learn an instrument. Therefore we will work with the Board and Officers of High Life Highland to ensure that music tuition continues to be delivered to a very high standard, and remains accessible to Highland children and young people, while supplying Scottish Government and COSLA colleagues with any information required as part of their impact assessments.”

The new policy has been set out to cover the cost of both music tution and instrument hire and by design does not expect any family to receive any charges associated with their music tuition. Highland pupils have never been charged for the use of musical instruments.

16 Jul 2021