THE SNP has pledged to abolish fees for learning a musical instrument in school. 

The party said it will, if re-elected on May 6, invest £18 million in the project to ensure poor children have the same opportunities as their more well-off counterparts.

The commitment aims to end the "postcode lottery" that sees some children in Scotland charged for music tuition while others get it for free. 

The current system is run by local councils, despite entreaties from the Scottish Government in recent years to drop the charges.

But the SNP manifesto, which will be published this week, will pledge the extra funding needed to local authorities to scrap the fees.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney also said the SNP will aim to mainstream music as a core school subject if it is re-elected. 

He said: "The last year has been incredibly tough for children and young people across Scotland - but the SNP is more committed than ever to putting in place a solid plan to support recovery and increase opportunities for every child to achieve their full potential.

"Participation in music and the arts can have a hugely positive impact on the wellbeing and attainment of our children and young people - providing them with opportunities to be creative, develop their imaginations and experience inspiration and enjoyment.

"That participation can have far-reaching benefits for children and young people across the country - which is why, if re-elected, the SNP will abolish all fees for music and arts education, including instrumental music tuition in schools.

"This will build on our record of promoting equality of opportunity across all local authority schools, and ensure that music tuition remains accessible for all.

"By giving both votes to the SNP in this election, people can elect an SNP government which is determined to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up, and ensure that every child is supported through our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic."