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Fears over future of school music tuition

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

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THERE are concerns that music tuition in schools could effectively end after Cornwall Council indicated it can no longer subsidise lessons.

A report going to the council's Cabinet next week says a "new model" has to be found to provide music tuition in schools.

However it also states: "The outcome that the council wishes to achieve is a sustainable unsubsidised model so that schools across Cornwall can continue to access music tuition."

Full details of the changes being proposed by the council have been kept confidential due to the financial information involved.

The report has led to fears that cutting funding will leave the service no longer viable for schools.

An anonymous e-mail sent to the West Briton claimed the council was effectively looking to make all those involved with the service redundant.

It states: "This will end 40 years of service during which time it has become a jewel in the crown of music-making in the county, indeed in 2003 it was selected as the most successful music service in Great Britain. The loss to pupils' education in the county will be huge."

The e-mail also criticised the way the decision was being made by the council, saying: "The whole process seems to be taking place in an environment of secrecy and the parents that pay for the lessons haven't been made aware of these plans."

Councillor Andrew Wallis, Cabinet member for children and young people, disputed the claims and insisted that the council was committed to continuing a music service in schools.

He said: "The music service has to be a break-even service but it hasn't been a break-even service for several years.

"Under our budgetary pressures we have to look at those services which do not break even and see what we can do to prevent any overspend.

"The council is committed to keeping a service but under a different model."

The Cabinet meeting takes place on Wednesday at 10am and can be viewed online at www.westbriton.co.uk

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