Mogwai star Stuart Braithwaite has backed a call by Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Monica Lennon for free music lessons in all of Scotland’s schools.
Lennon has pledged to make free universal music tuition in state schools a key manifesto pledge if she is elected to lead the party.
She insists learning an instrument should be a “core element of the curriculum” and it is wrong that charges imposed by councils mean some children miss out on music tuition.
Backing her call, Braithwaite said: “It’s terrible that children are being excluded from music lessons because of lack of finance. Music should be available to all, no matter their background.”
Lennon, who is battling fellow MSP Anas Sarwar in the contest to succeed Richard Leonard, argues abolishing charges linked to school music lessons would complement wider measures to tackle the attainment gap and curb the rising cost of the school day.
Holyrood’s Education Committee has already called for universal free music tuition to be introduced in Scotland’s schools, with a report in 2019 highlighting youngsters in some local authority areas can be charged as much as £524 a year for these classes, while they are free in other areas.
Lennon said: “It’s wrong these opportunities are being taken away from young people due to their family income.”
Voting is currently taking place in the Scottish Labour leadership contest, with the winner due to be announced on Saturday.
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