From education to employment

Boost for teacher training bursaries by up to £10,000 a year

people stood in a line cheering with their arm in the air

Over £180 million now available to attract trainee teachers in high priority subjects for courses starting in 23/24.

Languages bursary increased by £10,000 to £25,000 and languages scholarship of £27,000, while STEM subjects attract as much as £29,000.

Part of drive to recruit excellent teachers where they are most needed and give pupils the skills for the future economy.

Graduates applying to train as teachers in high priority subjects will receive increases to tax-free cash bursaries and scholarships from next year under government plans to recruit and retain top talent.

For aspiring teachers starting their training in September 2023, bursaries worth £27,000 and scholarships worth £29,000 will draw talented trainees into the highest-priority STEM (science, technology and mathematics) subjects of mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing.

£25,000 bursaries and £27,000 scholarships will be offered to prospective languages teachers – up £10,000 on this academic year.

Bursary and scholarship eligibility is being extended to all non-UK national trainees in physics and languages.

The generous package is worth £181 million in total, up £52 million on the current academic year, and will help ensure there are excellent teachers across the country, developing the pipeline of skills that the future UK economy will need.

A new relocation premium for overseas nationals coming to England to teach or train in these subjects was confirmed earlier this year in the Schools White Paper, which will help with visa costs and other expenses. Teachers in the first five years of their career teaching mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing in disadvantaged schools are also able to claim the Levelling Up Premium, worth up to £3,000 tax free.

Schools Minister Jonathan Gullis said:

“As a former teacher, I know that investing in our teachers is investing in young people. These generous bursaries and scholarships will attract the brightest and the best into teaching.

“Shoring up the talent pipeline to teach vital subject areas such as STEM and languages will, in turn, equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to secure a bright future, and ensure that our economy remains globally competitive.”

Further bursaries available include those for aspiring geography teachers, who will receive £25,000, an increase of £10,000, while £20,000 bursaries for biology and design & technology represent increases of £10,000 and £5,000 respectively on the current academic year. A £15,000 tax-free bursary for English will also be reintroduced.

The funding available is the latest step towards the Government’s intention, set out earlier this year in the Schools White Paper, for every child to be taught by an excellent teacher.

It is also part of broader work to raise the profile of teaching. Earlier this year the Government announced the highest pay awards for teachers in a generation – 8.9 percent increases for new teachers and five percent for experienced teachers and leaders – in recognition of their hard work and supporting with the cost of living, while also reflecting the need for the sound management of schools’ budgets.

Louis Barson, Director of Science, Innovation and Skills at the Institute of Physics said:

“Great physics teaching opens up career opportunities in a broad and growing range of career paths: from developing new cancer treatments to tackling climate change.

“We are pleased to be delivering the government’s scholarships programme for physics teachers, helping tackle the physics teacher shortage and focussing on areas with the greatest need for specialists, enhancing the life chances of local pupils.

“Scholars will benefit from additional financial support, access to experienced professional coaching, high-quality resources and a mutually supportive community.”

Sector Response

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“While we welcome any action to address the fact that schools and colleges are experiencing a severe shortage of teachers, this increase in bursaries for certain secondary subjects only scratches the surface of the crisis.

“The underlying issue is that salary levels are not competitive enough because of government austerity policies which have eroded the real value of school teachers’ pay by a fifth over the past decade. This year’s pay award is significantly below inflation and there is no additional government funding to schools for them to be able to pay for the cost of this award.

“This is then compounded by workload pressures – caused by the chronic underfunding of schools and colleges by the government – which contribute to nearly a third of teachers leaving the profession within five years of qualifying.

“The government must work with the education sector on a strategic plan which deals with these systemic issues. At present, the majority of schools and colleges in England are struggling to put teachers in front of classes.”

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