Andy Wightman MSP Back to

Closure of the Edinburgh City Music School

27 October, 2017 - 00:00

Proposals have emerged this week to close the national centre of excellence in music at the City of Edinburgh Music School (CEMS). CEMS is one of four national centres of excellence (the others are at Plockton, Dyce and Douglas Academy in Milngavie).

These National Centres of excellence cater for pupils across Scotland and indeed across Europe. They are funded by Scottish Government funding voted by the Scottish Parliament.

Today City of Edinburgh Council will consider a range of budget proposals including this and although no decision is expected tomorrow, the matter will be debated.

I am utterly opposed to this proposal.

Earlier today a copy of the internal rationale for this proposal was posted through my letter box. It makes for depressing reading. It makes no sense from an educational point of view and represents a substantial cut in music tuition across the City.

I recognise that local government is facing serious funding challenges and that is why in Parliament I am arguing for more resource and (importantly) for greater fiscal autonomy for councils.

But closing one of Scotland’s national centres of excellence in the arts is indefensible.

The briefing paper from the council can be found here (2.4Mb pdf)