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Teaching Union critical of Council plan to "save" music service

Wales largest teaching union, the NUT have isued a statement criticising the plans for the schools music service in RCT. Yesterday the Labour Cabinet, having consulted for months on several proposals, announced a new plan which they claim would "save" the service. The Union says otherwise:

Music services in the Rhondda Cynon Taff are being put at risk due to new proposals by the local authority according to Wales' largest teaching union. NUT Cymru say the status of music, and those teaching it, will be undermined by the plans and children will receive a diluted standard of education as a result.

NUT Cymru Policy Officer, Owen Hathway, said:

"NUT Cymru are extremely concerned at the manner in which it is proposed to save the RCT Music Service by attacking pay and conditions.

"Currently all staff are qualified to degree level with many holding teaching qualifications - they are employed on Teachers' Pay and Conditions to teach children both curriculum music and instrumental music. The saving of £254,000 a year will be achieved at the expense of the individual staff members - a pay cut for the most qualified and experienced teachers of up to £15,000.

"The local pay and conditions will result in a role which does not require a degree level qualification as is currently the case, resulting in a significant detriment to pupils in the long term.

"The proposal to pay staff for only 36 weeks a year implies that there is no planning or preparation outside of the lessons taught, that no training or support is required to continue to provide teaching of the highest quality, that musical education does not have the same value as other areas of the curriculum.

"Music teaching is just that - teaching. Renaming the role "tutor" does not take away from the actual level of skill or education involved in the task."