EAST Renfrewshire Council has welcomed extra funding to provide free music lessons to school pupils in the coming year.

It will be handed a share of a £7million windfall from the Scottish Government to help children learn instruments such as the piano, flute or guitar.

The funding is a boost for parents in the Barrhead area who have had to pay for music tuition for their kids.

Money is also being provided to councils towards the cost of materials used in home economics, art classes and science and technical subjects.

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council told the Barrhead News: “Music tuition is a valuable resource for pupils in all of our schools, so we welcome the additional Scottish Government funding, which will enable pupils to access this without charge.

“We have extremely talented young musicians across East Renfrewshire and look forward to being able to continue to nurture this talent across our schools in the years ahead.”

The funding package follows talks with the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), which represents all 32 of the country’s local authorities.

It will be available from next month, at the start of the new academic year.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “All children should have the best start in life and the ability to take part in core elements of education should never be limited by a child’s ability to pay.

“This announcement means families will not see bills for musical tuition or core curriculum activities in the new school year.

“I will continue to work with COSLA and local authorities to develop a sustainable and funded model for future years.”

Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA’s children and young people spokesperson, added: “Councils recognise the importance of music tuition for the development of our children and young people.

“Where fees were in place for tuition, this was due to a range of pressures on council budgets.”