The head of music at Wakefield College in Yorkshire will resign at the end of this month in protest over "intolerable" cuts facing music education at the college.
Richard Ingham, who is taking voluntary severance and will not be replaced, said he had taught music in all sectors of education but he had never before been confronted with such "wholesale destruction" of youngsters' potential.
He claims that 100 music students at Wakefield are facing a cut of up to 50 per cent in their practical tuition next year and instrumental tutors are to be paid 25 per cent less. In addition he said Pounds 2,000 had to be made from performances to help make up for a shortfall in funding.
"This really is intolerable," he said. "I felt it was so important to bring this crisis to public attention because we will soon be witnessing a missing generation. I want to see college management standing up to the Further Education Funding Council over this."
But Heather MacDonald, vice principal at Wakefield, said no decisions had yet been taken although the annual review of music tuition was currently underway.
Significant savings had already been made to deal with reduced funding of Pounds 1 million per annum over three years including a 50 per cent reduction in the senior management team. Ms MacDonald said the college offered one to one tuition over and above normal course provision costing Pounds 1,000 per student per year and alternative sources of funding were being examined. She denied that pay cuts for performance tutors were planned and said the college was funding a Pounds 3 million project to refurbish an arts and music complex at nearby Thornes Park.