From the spring term to the summer term, following the fee rise, 40% of those taking musical instrument tuition with Bedfordshire Music Service have cancelled their lessons.
This isn’t as high a number as I was expecting, however many people may be doing the same as us, seeing it through to the end of the summer term. It will be interesting to see the figures again in the autumn term.
From the council’s Agenda for the Executive meeting on 7th December 2010, fees, charges and other activities provided funding of £1,105,000. If we said 3,000 people having tuition at £100 a term, that raises £900,000 leaving the ‘charges and other activites’ with the remaining £205,000.
The fees went up 69% and the numbers dropped 40%, so that would be 1,800 people paying £169, raising £912,000, not a massive change from the original amount raised. Does this mean the fees have to go up again to cover the shortfall. I guess not, as the number of staff hours needed to teach would have dropped by 40% in line with the cancellations. Maybe the 40% staffing costs is enough to provide a cost neutral service, but at what cost.
Intentional or otherwise, the impact of these reductions in numbers of users of the service cannot be good for the future of music in Bedfordshire schools.