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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Ceredigion Cabinet must take note of music education review

Penri James – who has been an outspoken critic of Ceredigion County Council’s plans to reduce funding for peripatetic music tuition in local schools – has welcomed the Assembly Government’s decision to review music education in Wales.
The Education Minister’s decision comes following criticism that there was insufficient funding for music tuition in Wales after the decision in 2005 to end the ‘ring fencing’ of some local authority funding for that purpose.

Under plans by Ceredigion County Council to reduce funding for music peripatetic tuition, there will be less support for performing activities with the county’s orchestras and choirs likely to suffer as a result.

Following the announcement on the Assembly Government’s intended review on music tuition, Plaid Cymru’s Penri James said:

“I welcome the Education Minister’s decision to conduct a review on how music education is financed in Wales. Here in Ceredigion, the Council Cabinet’s decision to slash funding for peripatetic music tuition is only starting to hit home with the start of the new term, and I fear that parents will be shocked at the extent of the cutbacks.

“Being given the opportunity to perform as part of an ensemble – whether in a choir or as part of an orchestra – is an essential element in the development of a musician. While the Council will continue to fund the lessons themselves, pupils won’t be given as many opportunities to develop their skills as part of a group. Ultimately, this is no different to offering sport training while not organising team competitions!

“I hope that Ceredigion County Council’s political leadership will take this review and the results when they become available into account and make every effort to identify possible ways to continue funding this essential service”.

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