£79million for music education hubs confirmed by the Department for Education

  • ISM welcomes an increase of just over 5% in funding for music education hubs
  • Music education hubs were set up by the National Plan for Music Education, published in 2012

Today (5 November 2019), the Department for Education has announced £79million of funding for music education hubs across England for 2020-21.

The funding announcement comes after the ISM and Music Mark, the two subject associations for music, wrote jointly to Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, calling for confirmation of the Government’s ongoing investment in music education hubs and for that funding to be sustained at the level of £100m per annum for at least five years.

Music education hubs were set up in 2012 as part of the National Plan for Music Education, and they built on the work of local authority music services. Music education hubs bring organisations together to deliver a range of music activities in schools and in other settings.

The National Plan for Music runs until 31 March 2020 and its timeline for review has yet to be announced.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:


‘The ISM welcomes the Government’s long-awaited announcement of approximately £79million funding for music education hubs, an increase of a little over 5%. Music education hubs form an integral part of music education in our primary and secondary schools, and the work of teachers within hubs is incredibly valuable.
We are delighted that the Government has increased the level of hub funding which will enable hubs to cover the increases in employer contributions into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the increase in employed teachers’ salaries, which have come into force.

There is no doubt the Government is committed to music education. Therefore as a matter of urgency we call on government to reform the EBacc which continues to have a detrimental impact on music and the other creative subjects in our schools. There is a huge amount of research, not least the APPG for Music Education’s State of the Nation report shows that music is no longer taught at Key Stage 3 in more than 50% of state-funded secondary schools. In other schools it has disappeared altogether.

We therefore urge the Government to add a creative subject to the EBacc, in line with the recommendations from both the Durham Commission and the CBI in the last few weeks.'

About Music Education Hubs

Music education hubs were set up in 2012 as part of the National Plan for Music Education, and they built on the work of local authority music services. Music education hubs comprise groups of organisations – such as local authority music services, schools, other music education hubs, arts organisations, community and voluntary organisations.

Music education hubs were designed to augment and support music teaching in schools (a guaranteed statutory requirement to the end of Key Stage 3) so that more children could experience a combination of classroom teaching, instrumental and vocal tuition and input from professional musicians, as set out by the Plan. The structure of the various organisations also meant that music education hubs would be able to deliver a music offer that drew on a wide range of expertise. The Plan stated that the Hubs in ‘every area will help drive the quality of service locally, with scope for improved partnership working, better value for money, local innovation and greater accountability’.

Music education hubs were also promoted as having an important role in ‘first access’ to music through continuing to develop the whole-class instrumental and vocal programme for a minimum of a term in primary schools, as well as providing broader opportunities and progression routes inside and outside the classroom. The idea was that class teachers and specialist instrumental teachers working together could maximise opportunities for musical progression and provide for different needs and aspirations of pupils beyond the music curriculum.

About the ISM


The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians and a nationally recognised subject association for music. Since 1882, we have been dedicated to promoting the importance of music and protecting the rights of those working in the music profession.

We support almost 10,000 musicians across the UK and Ireland with our unrivalled legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services. Our members come from all areas of the music profession and from a wide variety of genres and musical backgrounds.

We campaign tirelessly in support of musicians’ rights, music education and the profession as a whole. We are a financially independent not-for-profit organisation with no political affiliation. This independence allows us the freedom to campaign on any issue affecting musicians.