Head of music instruction quits over Moray tuition fees rise

image copyrightMoray Council
image captionJohn Mustard is said to have created a "huge musical legacy"

The influential head of Moray Council's music instruction service has resigned in protest at the local authority's tuition fees rising by 85%.

John Mustard said the increase - approved last month as part of a bid to balance the council's budget - would "deprive" many young people of a skill and pleasure.

He said he regretted having to make the decision.

Moray Council said it was sorry to see Mr Mustard leave.

The 85% increase will raise music tuition fees to £699 a year.

Councillors approved the increase on 23 January.

'So much damage'

Mr Mustard said in a statement: "I can confirm that I have resigned as head of Moray Council's music instruction service.

"The reason is simple: I cannot agree with the decision by the council to raise the cost of music lessons by 85% - to what will be the highest level in Scotland.

"In a low-wage economy such as Moray this will have the effect of depriving many young people of a valuable skill and pleasure for life.

"I regret this deeply, but I cannot be part of a decision that will do so much damage to a service I've built up to national acclaim over the last 30 years."

image copyrightRyan Main
image captionMoray councillors approved the increase in January

A Moray Council spokesman said: "We are sorry to see John Mustard leave, he has created a huge musical legacy in Moray.

"We wish him well for the future."

It was reported last year that only 10 of Scotland's 32 councils still provided free music tuition.

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