Case study: Move to England may solve lack of lessons
SOPHIE Hunter loves playing her saxophone. In fact, the 12-year-old enjoys it so much that she practises in her bedroom for an hour a day and up to seven hours at weekends – despite the fact that she’s never had a lesson in her life.
Sophie has just started P7 at a primary school in Fife, a local authority where children are charged £125 a year for instrumental music tuition. But although Sophie’s parents were willing to pay for her lessons, she has been unable to receive tuition. Last year, just four children out of 66 in her year were selected to receive woodwind lessons because of a shortage of suitable tutors. Sophie wasn’t one of them.
“A child’s desire to learn an instrument has no bearing on whether or not they’re offered the opportunity,” says her mother Elaine. Since then, two of the children selected for tuition have dropped out, but their places have been left empty.
“My fear is that if they remain vacant, it’s an excuse not to reinstate them in future years,” says Elaine, who has been unable to find a private saxophone tutor in the area. “They say the assessment process is fair, but how can it be when children are being denied these opportunities?”
Now, says Elaine, the family are considering moving.
“We have extended family in Newcastle. If we lived there, Sophie could get free saxophone tuition on a Saturday morning. So we are actually thinking of moving house and trying to get jobs in Newcastle.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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