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Response from the Schools Minister: Funding Confirmation

7th March 2024

In continuation of our previous correspondence with the Schools Minister, we have received a response to our most recent letter sent on the 30th January 2024 with the ISM and the MU. We requested clarification about the funding shortfall for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and the assessment period for performance-based funding.  

The Minister for Schools, Damian Hinds, has now responded with confirmation that the DfE has committed to extend TPS funding for Music Hubs from April 2024 to August 2024. We will continue to work on a response with the ISM and the MU and will provide an update soon. You can read the full response from the Schools Minister below: 

“Dear Ms Annetts, Mr Walters and Ms Whyte,


Thank you for your email of 30 January, regarding the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and Music Hubs. I apologise for the delay in replying to you.


Your letter seeks answers to further questions relating to the TPS, and I recognise that this issue remains a cause of concern. I am pleased to be able to confirm that HM Treasury has committed to providing funding to cover the increase in employer contribution rates for the current academic year, and the department is working to agree the precise amount. The department will announce further details, including funding rates and allocations soon.


In my response to your previous letter of 19 December 2023, I also stated that department officials would provide you with a further update regarding the TPS in due course, and I understand that a meeting was scheduled for early March.


You also set out some differences between Music Hubs and the department’s other hub programmes, including the broad remit of the Music Hubs programme and a proposal regarding its future funding. All departments consider a wide range of matters at every Spending Review, including the statutory nature of the activity, funding pressures due to pay and inflation, and delivery of government commitments over the relevant period. The department will therefore consider these factors for all our programmes, including Music Hubs, for the next Spending Review.


Finally, you ask about Music Hub funding beyond April 2025 being reliant on performance, particularly as newly competed Hub Lead Organisations will begin delivery in September 2024. The department has committed funding for a full academic year for the newly competed Music Hubs programme from September 2024 to August 2025.


The funding details were set out in the Arts Council England (ACE) Music Hubs Investment Programme applicant guidance, published in June 2023. The guidance also states that funding agreements may be extended up to the end of August 2028, subject to performance and the guarantee of future funding from government. ACE will publish how Music Hub performance will be assessed in due course, as part of their Relationship Framework for academic year 2024/25.


As you have met officials in early March, I have asked them to respond to any further queries you may have regarding these matters.


Thank you for writing to me on these important matters and for your ongoing contribution to music education.


Yours sincerely,

Damian Hinds

Minister for Schools