Music tuition and more could be cut in Kirkliston and South Queensferry’s schools

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Sweeping cuts in school spending, music tuition and library opening hours are being discussed by City of Edinburgh Council.

The controversial measures being considered by city council chiefs to balance the budget for next year would affect South Queensferry and Kirkliston.

School budgets handed to headteachers could be reduced by up to three per cent, which the council admits could mean cuts in classroom assistants – despite a pledge to increase their numbers – and leave some schools unable to meet targets for teacher-pupil ratios.

Music tuition in the authority could be halved, with 2500 pupils, who are currently learning to play instruments, having their lessons stopped or a charge of £321 per year introduced.

And some libraries face “significantly” reduced opening times.

The council has yet to comment on the measures but Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole -Hamilton was more forthcoming and blamed Scottish Nationalists.

He said: “For more than a decade, the SNP have refused to deliver meaningful reform of local taxation which would ensure that every local authority is able to deliver their own priorities. Instead, power has been stripped from councils and hoarded in SNP ministers’ offices.

“You can’t put a price on the benefits that allowing every child to develop an interest in music and culture provides. Subjects like music shouldn’t be exclusively for those who can pay for them privately.”