PLANS to charge for school music lessons this term have been postponed
Letters have been sent out to parents from the head of music service Maggie Richardson who said that due to ‘factors external to the Music Service,’ the Department of Education and Children was not in a position to make charges for music lessons this term.
But she said it was still the intention of the department to charge for lessons later on in the academic year.
She added: ‘Please accept my apologies for any confusion caused and I will ensure you are kept informed of any further charges regarding charges for Music Service tuition as soon as possible. In the meantime your child’s lessons will continue as normal.’
Plans to charge for music tuition were announced in the February Budget.
In order for fees to be introduced, regulations have to be changed in Tynwald.
John Gill, head of legal and administrative services at the Department of Education, said that due to other priorities, including preparations for the privatisation of the pre-schools and the transfer of responsibilities for the library service, the order needs to make the charges was not taken to the July Tynwald as planned.
Instead, the Education (Music Tuition Charges) Regulations are to go to the October Tynwald.
‘Unfortunately the [initial] letters that went out to parents were a little premature.’ he said. He said that some parents had already made payments but their cheques had not been cashed and would be returned.
Mr Gill said that if Tynwald approved the regulations, new letters would be sent out to parents.
He said it was a bit early to work out whether the take up of children learning musical instruments had been affected by the proposed introduction of tuition fees.
But he said there were a number of exemptions - including those students taking Music GCSE - and the department would be able to waive the fees in certain circumstances. ‘No one should suffer,’ he said.
Parents of children who currently hire an instrument from the Music Service will receive an invoice for the autumn term’s rental of £17 in due course. The department has asked parents not to send any payments until they receive an invoice.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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