Support for musical instrument fees legal campaign

Making Music, which represents choirs, orchestras and other groups across the UK, has lent its voice to a campaign to challenge the lawfulness of fees for musical instrument tuition in Scottish state schools.

Campaigners have launched a crowdfunding campaign.
Campaigners have launched a crowdfunding campaign.

The Change the Tune campaign by community musician Ralph Riddough, to raise £15k by 1.20pm on Sunday to commence appropriate legal action against the unlawful practice of schools charging fees for musical instrument tuition, has already raised £9,250.

Alison Reeves, Making Music Manager for Scotland, said: “Charging fees only for learning a musical instrument and no other part of a child’s education creates a barrier to learning and is fundamentally unfair. If children are to be assessed on their ability to play a musical instrument for SQA qualifications, then we believe fees for learning should never be applied.”

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Mr Riddiough said: "Section 3 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 states that local authorities shall not charge fees for the provision of education. It is my belief that Instrumental Music Services (IMSs) which teach children to play musical instruments within a school setting, are indeed education, a view which was confirmed by the report of the Scottish Parliament's Education and Skills Committee issued in January 2019.

"As such, I am seeking to clarify, through the courts, that it is unlawful for local authorities to charge fees for the provision of this music education.”

The crowdfunder is available here: