Fully funded pay rise needed to protect music teachers

Council leaders have warned that school music lessons will be under threat unless the government covers the cost of the teacher pay rise to include music teachers.

The commitment to fully fund the pay rise for all classroom teachers made in the summer neglected centrally employed teachers (CETs), the majority of which provide music tuition. These are teachers employed directly by councils. There are currently 4,900 CETs who either provide direct teaching to children and young people or play key roles in supporting education professionals, at least half of which are in music services.

The Local Government Association, says that councils cannot undertake any further financial burdens, and wants the government to commit to meeting  the cost of the additional one to 2.5 per cent salary rise for CETs – estimated to be £5.5 million – which councils will not have budgeted for. If the government does not agree, it is likely that CET services such as music tuition will be reduced.

Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The UK has a proud history of musical excellence and many of the most well-known artists in the world over time would have benefited from music lessons. For many young people, it is a vital part of their education and future life opportunities, but this could be at risk unless the government commits to fully funding the pay increase for all classroom teachers, including music teachers.

“While we were pleased that the government announced that it would fully fund a pay increase for teachers in the summer, it needs to extend this to fund the pay rise for centrally employed teachers, such as those providing music tuition. Local government is already under massive financial pressure with many services overstretched. If this additional cost is left for councils to pick up then they will be put in the very difficult position of being forced to reduce certain types of education provision including music teaching.”

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