COSLA/Scottish Government Guidance on Musical Instrument Tuition is Published

26th February 2019

Our Parents' Voice survey on musical instrument tuition was one of our biggest last year. We shared your views with the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee robustly, setting out recommendations. You can read our submission and the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament background documents on musical instrument tuition here.

Now, the guidance for local authorities on the provision of musical instrument tuition has been published by COSLA, the Scottish Government and the Music Instrument Partnership Group. You can read it here. Because it is only guidance, it is weak, leaving decision-making still with local authorities. There is no national framework and no real clarity. On the positive, SQA qualification-related instrument tuition is to be funded and there should be no charging for students who have entitlement to Free School Meals. Councils should also review their charging policies to make sure young people from families facing financial hardship are not prevented from learning an instrument. Communication with parents is to be clear and upfront.

However, there is no mention of how instrument tuition is to be funded to help young people on the path to SQA qualifications during the Broad General Education. Musical Education is the entitlement of all, but not music instrument tuition.

The impact of the ongoing variations in provision and the uncertainty for musical instrument tutors working in schools is recognised in the guidance - that this lack of clarity may reduce availability and opportunity all together. This is very disappointing.