Gloucestershire music tutors face redundancy
CHANGES to music services in Gloucestershire will see 36 music tutors face redundancy.
It comes as the county's bid to become a local music hub, as part of a Government scheme to transform music education across the UK, was accepted.
Gloucestershire was one of 122 places selected to receive a share of the funding and is expecting around £1.77 million. But the new plan means less cash will be spent on small group instrument tuition, and peripatetic teachers – those who travel from place to place – will have to be directly employed by schools.
Instead, the hub will ensure every child aged five to 18 has the chance to sing, learn a musical instrument, and perform as part of an ensemble.
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Council bosses insist more children will benefit from the new hub.
The Government is changing the way it funds such services in July, setting out new priorities, including spending less on management and administration.
Jo Grills, Gloucestershire's operations director for education, learning and libraries, said: "There is no longer funding available for individual and small group tuition.
"Most of the 72 positions within the new hub have now been filled by current staff.
"We will be providing all the support we can to the 36 music tutors who have not secured posts. Many already work on a freelance basis and we fully expect demand for their services from parents and schools will continue to be high."
Shire Hall bosses said a full consultation was carried out with staff and unions on the restructuring of Gloucestershire Music Service.
Any redundancies will come into effect at the end of July with activities organised by the hub starting in September.
In addition to strengthening links with partners, such as Cheltenham Festivals, the council is looking to involve more community groups in developing the new hub.
Some music teachers have previously spoken out against the change.
One tutor offered voluntary redundancy, who did not want to be named, said many talented music students in the county would be unable to continue to fulfil their aspirations and who would be greatly let down by the service.