Council Rethinks Practice Ban

Following Monday’s report in VoxCarnyx of a practice ban facing wind and brass players and young singers at Douglas Academy’s specialist music unit, East Dunbartonshire Council has written to parents reassuring them that urgent action is underway to resolve the situation.

The ban, which applied to individual practice rooms at the Milngavie school and its pupil residence in Knightswood (which falls under Glasgow Council Council jurisdiction), meant that the affected boarders – most of whom are in the process of preparing for A level and SQA practical music exams and conservatoire auditions due to take place with the next few months – were left with nowhere to practise other than their family homes during weekends.

A letter sent by parents on Monday to the Scottish Government and relevant local authorities calling for a reversal of the ruling, claimed that the ban “disadvantaged their children in the competitive field of music and also for other careers, as their preparation for SQA Music exams is being adversely affected”.When approached on Monday by VoxCarnyx, East Dunbartonshire’s Depute Chief Executive, Education, People & Business, Ann Davie said that “a comprehensive risk assessment for the provision of music within the Music School” was under way. “The risk assessment also includes provision for pupils who stay in the residence and require to practice in school,” she added.

On Tuesday, relieved parents received an email from the Council stating that measures will now be put in place to allow students to practice again in school. The issue affecting the pupil residence has still to be resolved, but East Dunbartonshire has told the parents it is now in discussions with Glasgow City Council to seek a positive outcome.