Sir: It would appear that, under the terms of the Education Bill now before Parliament, schools which opt for grant-maintained status will only be allowed to purchase music tuition from the local authority for a maximum period of two years. Should a significant number of schools choose this option, this will clearly lead to the closure of many county music services which provide not only instrumental tuition in our schools but also countless orchestras, bands and choirs. The removal of these services can only be detrimental to the performing tradition, both amateur and professional, of which this country is justly proud.
It seems ironic that a government that declares itself committed to raising educational standards should be on the point of so seriously damaging the provision of music facilities for our young people; further, that in providing a freedom for schools to choose their status they remove the freedom for many children to pursue a love of music. Is it that the arts are not regarded as subjects for serious education? If so, then I fear the ultimate social consequences will be even more profound.
JOHN YORK SKINNER
Director of Music