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Funding for teacher training

Funding for teacher training

You might be surprised by the bursaries, scholarships and early career payments available to train to teach some subjects. Find out about financial support and loans in England.

You may be eligible to receive financial support in the form of a bursary or scholarship to help fund your training. Your eligibility and how much you will receive depend on a range of factors, including:

  • your class of degree. You'll need a 2.1 or higher to apply for a scholarship, although you may be eligible with a 2.2 if you have significant relevant experience. You can apply for a bursary with a 2.2 or higher.
  • the subject you wish to study.

If you're not eligible for a bursary or scholarship, you can apply for a loan to cover tuition fees (for unsalaried teacher training routes). You may also be eligible for a maintenance loan to help with living expenses, such as rent, food and travel, while you're studying. You will need to start making loan repayments once your salary reaches a certain level, currently £25,725 if you already have a student loan from 2012 or later, or if this is your first student loan.

This section covers funding in England. For information on funding in other parts of the UK see our advice on training to teach in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Bursaries for shortage subjects

Non-repayable bursaries are available for trainee teachers on some full and part-time primary and secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses, school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) schemes and non-salaried School Direct programmes. The amount you receive depends on the subject you plan to teach and degree class.

The bursaries for teacher training courses starting in 2020/2021 are as follows:

  • Graduates who are training to teach chemistry, computing, languages, maths or physics can apply for scholarships of £28,000 or for bursaries of £26,000. Languages scholarships are only available if you train to teach French, German or Spanish, whereas bursaries are also open to graduates who are training to teach other modern or community languages.
  • Trainees in chemistry, languages, maths and physics will receive three additional early-career payments of £2,000 or £3,000 each (after tax) in their second, third and fourth year of teaching, if they have taught in a state-funded school in England since completing their training. The payments will vary depending on the area where they have been teaching.
  • Graduates training to teach biology or classics are not eligible for a scholarship, but can apply for a bursary of £26,000. The bursary is available for trainees on classics courses that are about an ancient language (Latin or Ancient Greek).
  • Graduates training to teach geography can access a scholarship of £17,000 or a bursary of £15,000.
  • Graduates training to teach design and technology are not eligible for a scholarship, but can get bursaries of £15,000.
  • Graduates training to teach English are not eligible for a scholarship but can access bursaries of £12,000.
  • Graduates training to teach art and design, business studies, history, music or RE are not eligible for scholarships, but can get bursaries of £9,000.
  • Graduates training on primary maths courses are not eligible for scholarships, but can get bursaries of £6,000 if they have at least a B in A level maths (or equivalent).

Loans and grants to cover tuition fees and maintenance

Tuition fees have to be paid for postgraduate ITT courses and the amount of these will vary depending on the course and institution. Home and EU students on full-time and part-time courses may be eligible for a loan to cover tuition fees.

Home students may also be able to apply for a student maintenance loan to help with accommodation and living costs.

Other support is available for certain groups of students, for example, students with disabilities and students with dependent children. If you're in financial hardship, you may also be eligible for help from your university. The student services department will be able to advise you about the support available.

Funding for early years initial teacher training

For those starting the main graduate entry training in 2020, the following funding is available:

  • A grant of £7,000 to cover course fees for all graduates.
  • A bursary of up to £5,000 for those with a first, doctoral degree or medical masters degree with distinction; £4,000 for those with a 2.1 or masters degree; and £2,000 for those with a 2.2.

Funding for training to work in FE

Tuition fee loans from Student Finance England are available to both full-time and part-time trainees (if the trainee meets the required criteria) for PGCE programmes accredited by a higher education institution. Full-time students may also apply for maintenance loans. Loan support may be available for level 5 programmes accredited by other awarding organisations – contact your chosen provider for further information.

Written by Paul Barnes, University of Portsmouth

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