Free music tuition activists seek judicial review over Scottish fees

Monday 8 April 2019

A crowd funding appeal is being set up to challenge the lawfulness of imposing fees for musical instrument tuition in Scottish state schools.

The Change the Tune campaign continues to put pressure on local authorities to scrap their fees

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The latest move to try and ensure that children in Scotland can receive free musical instrument tuition is set to be undertaken.

A crowd funding appeal is set to go live on April 6th (7.00am) to raise the £15,000 to pay for legal fees for the necessary first steps in a potential judicial review of the lawfulness of the fees in Scotland's state schools.

Breaking the law

The campaign believes that local authorities are breaking the law that requires state schools to provide education without charging fees.

This case follows on from numerous local and national petitions and campaigns that have so far failed to secure the funding for instrumental music services in schools with the result that the number of children taking up the lessons is in decline.

A recent report into music education estimated that up to 100,000 children are now missing out on being able to play a musical instrument

Fight goes on

Campaign activist Ralph Riddiough told 4BR. "The fight goes on. The benefits of specialist musical instrument tuition are well known. Fees in state schools are wrong. They are divisive. They exclude some children.

Children who have access to the specialist tuition in small groups will arrive in their fourth year at secondary school with a huge advantage over children who have been priced out."

He added: "More than this, there is a strong argument that the fees are unlawful. Section 3 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 says that local authorities shall not charge fees for the provision of education.

Teaching children to play musical instruments is education, and this was confirmed by the report of the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee issued in January 2019, which also recommended that these lessons be provided without levying fees."

there is a strong argument that the fees are unlawful. Section 3 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 says that local authorities shall not charge fees for the provision of educationRalph Riddiough

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Blame

Ralph concluded: "These recommendations have not been acted upon. The Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) have responded to this report with entrenched positions that the blame lies at the door of the other.

It is not right that an important education service is allowed to fall through the cracks of our public finances. There is now no option but to invoke the judgement of the courts to protect this education service. We hope as many people as possible help us in this fight."

Appeal

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/changethetune

 

Thanks to 4barsret  for words

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