A TEACHING union has again issued a warning about the "apparently annual" threat to cut music tuition in the Kingdom's schools.

Fife EIS said members face an "uncertain future" as proposals to reduce the service are back on the table as part of the budget-setting process in February.

Fife Council chiefs have rejected moves to cut back on musical instruction before and told the Press they may well do so again next month.

Publicity officer for Fife EIS, David Farmer, said: "At a time when other Scottish local authorities are scrapping charging regimes to make music more accessible to our young people, Fife Council could be proposing a very different course of action.

"Proposals, which could be taken as part of the council budget could make the good cheer of a festive concert a thing of the past."

He said the "unacceptable" proposals would mean the termination of instrumental instruction in primary schools and in years 1-3 in secondary.

Mr Farmer added: "The proposal would lead to the complete removal of tuition, apart from those students studying for SQA examinations, and could see the loss of the whole service within a very few years.

"Such proposals don't just strike at those families on low incomes, they strike at the very central role of instrumental music in the culture of Fife.

"They strike at the power of music to help young people to achieve. They strike at the power of music to close the attainment gap."

Fife Council co-leader, Councillor David Ross, previously said there was a "significant difference" between the savings proposals put forward by officers and what will be acceptable to the joint administration.

Fellow co-leader, Councillor David Alexander, said they faced "speculation" every year about music cuts and said they were open to suggestions as to how to balance the budget.