Concerned parents in a Scottish local authority have launched a petition in response to proposed cuts to music tuition in its schools. At the time of posting, the petition as been signed over 3,500 times. It can be found here.
As part of major budget cuts, North Lanarkshire Council is also considering disbanding the North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band. Some other bands, orchestras and choirs are also earmarked for the axe.
Last Wednesday, music teachers were told at an emergency meeting that the council is considering two proposals to save cash from its music budget: either cutting two instrumental teacher managers, one full-time instrumental teacher and all local ensembles or axing the entire in-school music service.
The council meets at the Civic Centre in Motherwell on Monday to consider implementing the cuts. Parents and children plan to protest outside.
North Lanarkshire Council has stated that it needs to cut £31 million from its budget this year and £100m over the next three years. The council borders the northeast of of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow’s suburbs and commuter towns and villages. It also borders East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Stirling, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian. Its schools pipe band won the Novice Juvenile A grade at the 2019 World Pipe Band Championships.
Edinburgh Council is also considering cuts to its music provision, which could result in parents being charged for lessons or reducing the range of instruments on offer.
Music tuition is not a statutory requirement in Scotland’s state schools.