Free Jersey music lessons to end in 2014

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Some children who have free music lessons may have to start paying for them under new rules.

Education minister Deputy Patrick Ryan wants politicians to approve a plan to introduce charges for the Jersey Music Service.

The scheme would bring Jersey in line with similar music services in England, where charges were introduced more than a decade ago.

If approved, charges for existing lessons will start in September 2014.

Deputy Ryan said: "Although this is a highly valued service, it is not part of the school curriculum. That means it is not a core service.

"We have worked hard to keep the fee levels as low as possible and have built in reductions for siblings, for talented musicians and for children from families that receive income support."

Politicians have already approved a reduction in the budget of the Jersey Music Service and the introduction of charges for the music lessons it provides outside school.

If given the go ahead, charges for existing lessons would cost about £55 per term.

Charges for new instruments could start from autumn 2013 if the States agree.

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