On the 23rd November, we wrote to the new Schools Minister to introduce Music Mark and outline our view of the current landscape. We also offered our support and the opportunity to meet with us to discuss our statements and share some case studies of the great work which has been achieved through the Government’s support of music education over the past 11 years. You can read this letter here.
This week, we received the following response from the Schools Minister:
Dear Ms Whyte and Mr Smalley,
Thank you for your letter and email of 23 November, regarding music education. I am also grateful for your kind congratulations on my appointment as Minister for Schools.
I agree with you on the importance of music education. The government has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that high-quality music education is not the preserve of the wealthy, but the entitlement of every single child.
As you know, this is reflected in the government’s commitment to refresh the National Plan for Music Education (NPME). This sets out the government’s vision to 2030 to enable all children and young people to learn to sing, play an instrument and create music together, and have the opportunity to progress their musical interests and talents, including professionally. Our dedication to music education is further reflected in the range of music programmes, including Music Hubs and the Music and Dance Scheme.
I recognise that Music Hubs are subject to financial pressures and I plan to respond in more detail about these matters in response to your joint letter with the Independent Society of Musicians and the MU of 5 December to the Secretary of State.
I also understand that as Chief Executive and Chair of Music Mark you engage effectively and constructively with officials in seeking solutions to improving music education across England. I have therefore asked officials to continue to engage with you in considering the specific matter of the increase from 23.6% to 28.6% to employer contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme from April 2024.
The department will be publishing further details on the approach for centrally employed teachers in due course, and this will include consideration of centrally employed music teachers and the existing Music Hubs programme.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks for your continued engagement to music education through your role on the NPME Monitoring Board. I also wanted to thank you for your support of Music Mark and other music education partners in convening the recent roundtable of music industry experts. This work is invaluable in considering how the department and the Department for Culture Media and Sport work together to improve support for young people with an interest in pursuing a career in our world-leading creative industries.
Thank you for writing on these important matters.
Minister for Schools