OK - will not hassle teacher about it. The peg on teh A string is a bit loose (certainly easy to shift it) which is the problem I think. I've got it so at least my teeth aren't totally set on edge by it - and it's her lesson tomorrow so teacher can do it then.
We get a leaflet about how you are not expected to tune a cello until grade whatever (something quite high). I sometimes (probably once or twice in 3 years!) adjust it using the little pegs at the bridge (what do you call them) but otherwise I wouldn't do it. I'm also with pugsandseals on this one. A guitar, on the other hand, I happily tune ...
You need to be very strong to shift a cello peg - I teach beginner cellists & even with many years of tuning violins & violas under my belt, there are days when I just can't move the damn things!!! The thought of a child trying, sounds impossible I'm afraid I'm with the teacher on this one. If really bad, take it to your local violin dealer & they should sort it out for free.
Yes I think they will be worried about breaking strings (quite easy to do if you are not very careful). DD(8) doesn't do hers herself, for that reason, but I have a go. Like you, I couldn't bear to listen to it otherwise and it's a bit demoralising for them, playing something that sounds so ropey.
Tuning isn't that difficult if you kind of push the peg in and turn very gently. And we got a cheapie digital tuning thing that sits on the bridge which helps a bit.
dd been learning at school for over a year - has not been taught how to tune it and in fact has been told she will not be taught until she's older as it's "too complicated"! She's 10. I checked on Google and it doesn't look that difficult - although I suppose the issue may be risk of snapping strings (it's a council supplied instrument). What about others? At present the blinking thing is desparately out of tune - teacher tuned it on Tuesday but I think the tuning peg slipped between school and home adn teh A string is awful - but dd is terrified she will get into trouble if we touch it. "Jingle Bells" with a well flat "A" string is torture!