DOZENS of East Lothian school students have gathered for a musical protest in Haddington this morning (Tuesday) over proposals to charge for music tuition.

About 50 pupils from Knox Academy, Musselburgh Grammar School and Preston Lodge High School gathered outside Haddington Town House this morning ahead of a meeting of East Lothian Council's cabinet.

The pupils, who waved placards and sang songs - with some passing drivers honking their horns in support - are protesting proposals to introduce an annual charge of £280 on students learning musical instruments at East Lothian schools.

The controversial proposal, which was revealed in this year's council budget in February, will be decided on at today's meeting.

As the issue is to be decided by cabinet rather than the full council, only members of the council's Labour administration can vote on the issue at the meeting, although members of the Conservative opposition and the SNP are free to voice their opinions at the meeting.

Instrumental Music Instruction (IMI) is a discretionary service provided by the council and is separate to the entitlement of music being taught at schools.

IMI is currently provided from P4 to  S6 in a variety of instruments. In total, more than 1,200 pupils are using the service across primary and secondary schools.

A petition has been launched in opposition to the move and has attracted more than 3,000 signatures.