Monday, 1 March 2010

The campaign to Keep Instrumental Tuition Free in Shetland

Whilst I believe that the SIC’s recent decision to instigate charges for music instrument tuition in school’s needs to be reconsidered for a variety of reasons (a subject I shall return to another day), I have been heartened by how our young musicians have pulled together to exercise their democratic rights and protest against these charges using electronic communications and a variety of online tools.

The first time the proposal to instigate the charges was made public was in document which appeared on the council website a few days before the decision was taken on 17 February 2010 - the innocuously titled “General Fund Revenue Estimates & Council Tax Setting”. The 14 page report contained point 6.2.8.2 that simply read “Introduce charges of £160 per annum for Instrumental Lessons, based on a middling charge compared with other councils, (yielding an extra £130,000)” – a point not considered important enough to warrant further explanation or its own mention on the agenda of the meeting, also published on the website.