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Teachers’ Pension Scheme: An update for employers

18th March 2024

An update on the Teachers Pension Scheme for employers with teachers in the scheme. 

On 11th March, the Department for Education confirmed that they would support Local Authorities who have Centrally Employed Teachers (CETs) enrolled in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme with the additional 5% increase to employers’ contributions from April 1st 2024 for one financial year.  The guidance they published specifically stated ‘Local authorities will also receive a grant for their centrally employed teachers (CETs), including those employed in local authority-based music hubs.’ The funding will be allocated as a ‘Teachers Pension Employer Contribution Grant’ (TPECG) and will be paid to Local Authorities later in the year. (Local authorities will receive one payment for their centrally employed teachers in 2024 to 2025. This will be at the same time as the second TPECG 24 payment for mainstream schools, in October 2024, following the release of the schools workforce census 2023 data.) 

Alongside this announcement it was also confirmed that Music Service Trusts would receive support for the 5% increase from April 2024 to August 2024 as a top up to the grant they have received via Arts Council England from the Department for Education since the previous increase to employers’ contributions was implemented in 2019. ‘Non-local authority-based music hubs will receive an additional top-up to cover the increase in employer contributions for April to September 2024. 

The full detail behind the announcement can be found here. 


Continued pressure needed to address inequity of support: 

Music Mark in partnership with the MU and ISM has been calling for support for both Trusts and Local Authorities since the new employers’ rate was announced following a review by DfE into the performance of the pension scheme (see links below).  Whilst we were pleased to have confirmation of the support package which has just been agreed, the disparity between support for local authorities and for Music Service Trusts remains a significant concern. A further letter has been sent to the Schools Minister and we await a response. 


Local Authority support – some detail to note: 

Reading through the guidance from the DfE there are some key points Local Authority Music Services might need to look into to ensure support is provided in line with the DfE announcement: 

  1. For Local Authority Music Services the allocation to support the new employers increase will be allocated based on the Schools Workforce Census 2023.  The TPECG guidance states: ‘We expect that music hub CETs will be recorded on the schools workforce census’.  It is therefore recommended that Heads of Service or business managers talk to colleagues within the Local Authority to confirm whether all music service staff who are enrolled on the teachers’ pension scheme were included in the 2023 Schools workforce census.  More details about the LA central return census can be found here. 
  1. Within the guidance about the Teachers Pension Employer Contribution Grant (TPECG) there is additional information about how support might be available to cover employers contributions beyond the 2024/25 financial year for Centrally Employed Teachers:  We will incorporate the grant into allocations for 2025 to 2026 as part of the central school services block (CSSB) NFF, as explained in the transition to the NFF in 2025 to 2026 section. 


TPS and the wider funding shortfall for music education: 

It should be noted that this ongoing challenge to government around employers contributions to the Teachers Pension Scheme is part of wider advocacy work we continue to do around the funding for Music Education.  It is widely recognised in the Music Education sector that the Department for Education’s Revenue Grant for Music Hub partnerships is inadequate to meet the ambitions that government have within their National Plan for Music Education.  However, it is clear from ongoing conversations with both ACE and the DfE that it is highly unlikely that any potential  increase to the Revenue Grant will be possible until after the Spending Review has taken place. As part of the Budget earlier this month it was confirmed that the next Spending Review will not happen until after the General Election.  The timing of that election will have an impact on whether there is a full and comprehensive spending review (which would set budgets for a three-year period or more) or a one-year spending plan.  A new government will not be able to complete a comprehensive spending review quickly and therefore we must be prepared, as a country, to see a ‘roll-over’ year for government departments.  However, this doesn’t automatically mean that there will be no uplift for music education funding, and Music Mark, along with other national bodies, will continue to advocate for funding to be increased as early as possible. 


Additional information on this topic and our advocacy work can be found on our website: