#SaveMusic - The @ISM_music’s annual survey of teaching and accompanying rates has revealed a profession under pressure against a backdrop of budget cuts, the marginalisation of music and #Brexit, as rates fail to increase in line with the cost of living for the fourth year in a row. 

Within the survey results, teachers reported being unable to raise their rates due to financial pressures on families as the cost of living continues to rise. Others reported carrying out unpaid work as music education hubs and schools struggle with shrinking budgets.

Only 33% of private teachers and 40% of peripatetic teachers and visiting music teachers raised fees in 2019, while fee rates declined in teachers employed by schools.

Comments from respondents included:

  • ‘Pay levels and increases offered by music hubs seem to be operating at an absolutely minimal level probably due to the marginalisation of music in schools.’
  • ‘I continue to keep my fees low as generally people can't afford much where I live.’
  • ‘Parents struggling to pay £30 per hour or £7.50 for a joint half hour lesson in schools - no chance of increase in fees.’
  • ‘Need to raise fees but know families can’t afford it as housing costs so much. Taught 60-hour weeks before 2008 recession but do well to get 10 hours now as families need more money for rent / high house prices.’
  • ‘I have to do quite a lot of unpaid work as school cannot afford to pay me for all the work I do. This is usually accompanying choirs/concerts/exam but also some teaching.’
  • ‘Since Brexit pupil numbers have changed - a number of my pupils have returned to Europe.’
  • ‘Pupil numbers seem to be going down especially when parents have to pay. I put this down to anxiety over the effects of Brexit.’

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

"Respondents to the ISM’s annual fees survey have not only told us their fees have scarcely risen – as little as 27p in some cases – but also the workforce continues to be under significant pressure against a backdrop of budget cuts and the marginalisation of music.

"We know from the significant wealth of research available – including the ISM’s The Future of Music Education report and the APPG for Music Education’s State of the Nation report which the ISM co-authored – that the position of music teachers within schools, especially those who are self-employed VMTs, is becoming increasingly difficult. Music provision continues to fall for a variety of policy reasons. This is making access to music education increasingly problematic.

"The Government is currently consulting on the future of music education, including the future refresh of the National Plan for Music Education, with a call for evidence. They are seeking views from musicians, classroom teachers, young people and parents. We urge everyone who cares about music education to respond to this call for evidence before it closes on 13 March 2020. 

"It is essential that music teachers, like every other profession, have access to fair employment conditions and are properly remunerated for the time, skill and hard work that goes into doing what they do."

These latest survey results include several new category additions including holiday pay, examining rates, group tuition and children taught.

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