1. ITV Report

Children in Leicester to be given musical lessons for free, if plans get green light

Leicester County Council plan to make musical lessons free for all Photo: ITV Central

Plans to offer children in Leicestershire the chance to learn a musical instrument for free have been put forward by the County Council.

If the plans get the go-ahead all children in junior school would be offered the opportunity to learn how to play instruments and sing in their class groups and see more local and school-based bands feed in to the main music groups.

It would mean a change in role for the staff of Leicestershire Schools Music Service and the loss of 30 full time equivalent posts.

Employees have been consulted on the proposals and some are planning to become self-employed to continue to offer small group tuition as 'associates' of the hub.

Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for the children and young people's service, said:

"New legislation means that across the country, education services run by local authorities are changing.

"Importantly, the proposed new structure enables the hub to apply for funding and would make sure that every child aged five to 18 has the chance to learn a musical instrument, at no cost.

"Clearly this is an unsettling time for staff and we will continue to work with them to reduce any impact."

– Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council

A decision on the plans will be made by the council's cabinet on 3rd April.