Aberdeen City Council denies cashing in on music fees
Council leaders have hit back at a teaching union after it claimed the local authority made a profit from children’s music lessons.
The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) had claimed Aberdeen City Council generated more than £500,000 of additional revenue by charging 1,863 pupils up to £340 for music tuition, and even charged them for exams at the end of the course.
The union is concerned that money from the lessons is being used to shore up other budget areas when music tuition is facing cuts across Scotland.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Education should be about providing an equal opportunity for all to benefit and learn, but, sadly in the case of music instruction, a small number of pupils are being charged a heavy price for developing their talents in music.”
However, a council spokeswoman said: “Aberdeen City Council has not and does not make a profit from providing music tuition to pupils.”
She said the council’s gross expenditure on the lessons for 2012-13 was £1,317,000, while an income of £534,000 from fees and other support left it with a net cost of £783,000.
The council charges £340 a year for individual lessons and £272 for group lessons – equivalent to £10 for an individual lesson and £8 for a group lesson.
She said pupils entitled to free school meals were exempt from music tuition fees while parents of pupils in receipt of a clothing grant qualified for a 50 per cent discount on the fees.
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