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Created: 26 April 2017 | Last Updated: 26 April 2017 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

No Justification for charging pupils to sit SQA Music Qualifications

Wednesday 26 April 2017 

The EIS has questioned the decision by Dumfries & Galloway council to charge pupils intending to sit SQA exams in Music for Instrumental Tuition.

The charging of pupils for tuition which is essential to their presentation for SQA exams is against Scottish Government policy, and runs counter to inclusion initiatives by placing a financial barrier in the way of pupils wishing to study music. 

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Both the EIS and the Scottish Government have clear policies which state that it is completely unacceptable to impose a charge on any pupil to sit an SQA examination.

"Charging young people for the tuition they need to secure qualifications is absolutely contrary to the core principles of our inclusive system of comprehensive education, and discriminates against young people from less affluent backgrounds.

"There is simply no justification for any local authority to charge pupils for instrumental tuition which they must pursue as part of SQA certificated courses.” 

Mr Flanagan continued, "Thankfully, charging for instrumental music for SQA candidates has now been halted by most local authorities across Scotland but one council – Dumfries & Galloway – is planning to introduce charges for music tuition for N4 and N5 candidates, only exempting pupils studying Higher or Advanced Higher Music.

"The EIS would urge the authority, in the strongest terms, to reconsider this decision.” 

Mr Flanagan added, "As we move closer to the local authority elections, it is important that all Council candidates in all local authority areas make clear their policies on education – including their support for instrumental music in schools, which offers so much to pupils who are able to participate.

"The instrumental music service is an area that has been subject to deep cuts in funding and staffing in recent years, removing an invaluable opportunity for many young people to develop their musical talents, build self-confidence, develop literacy and numeracy skills, and work collegiately with their peers.

"It is vitally important that all local authorities continue to offer instrumental music tuition for pupils who wish to access it, and without putting any restrictive financial barriers in the way of equal access to music education for all young people.”