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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16194: John Scott (Ayr)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 26 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its comment in the Programme for Government that "improving the education and life chances of children and young people is the defining mission of this Government", what its response is to South Ayrshire Council's reported plan to introduce fees for instrumental tuition for children and young people; whether it considers that this decision is in breach of the (a) curriculum for excellence implementation plan and (b) Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) guidelines, and what impact it considers that this decision will have on children and young people's ability to access and benefit from instrumental tuition.

Answered by: John Swinney 8 May 2018

The specific level of spending on schools is determined by local authorities. Councils have a legal responsibility for providing an adequate and efficient education, suitable to the needs of every child, in accordance with the principles of Getting it Right for Every Child. Within this settlement, sufficient resource should be made available to schools for supplies and equipment, with specific levels of funding for schools determined by individual councils. This covers class music lessons, including when any instrument is taught on a whole class basis, regardless of who is teaching the class. By contrast, an education authority may charge fees for the provision of an extra-curricular activity that it is not obliged to provide as an entitlement.

The Scottish Government recognises the value of the expressive arts which provide children and young people with opportunities to be creative and imaginative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment, contributing greatly to children and young people’s mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Expressive arts is one of the eight curriculum areas under Curriculum for Excellence.