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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 (to be eligible for a bursary or scholarship, you'll need a first, 2.1 or 2.2)
  • 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 2019/2020 are as follows:

  • Graduates with a first, 2.1, 2.2, PhD or masters who are training to teach maths can apply for scholarships of £22,000 or for a bursary of £20,000, plus an early-career payment of £10,000 (two payments of £5,000 in your third and fifth year of teaching).
  • Graduates with a 2.1 or above who are training to teach physics, chemistry, computing, geography or languages (French, German or Spanish) can apply for scholarships of £28,000. Graduates who do not have a 2.1 or above may still be considered if they have significant relevant experience. For the students selected, scholarships are paid instead of bursaries.
  • Graduates training to teach physics, biology, computing, chemistry, geography, or languages (includes other modern or community languages in addition to French, German and Spanish) or classics (where the course is an ancient language - Latin or Ancient Greek) can access bursaries of £26,000 with a 2.2 or higher.
  • Graduates training to teach English can get bursaries of £15,000 with a 2.2 or higher.
  • Graduates training to teach design and technology or history can access bursaries of £12,000 with a 2.2 or higher.
  • Graduates training to teach music or RE can get bursaries of £9,000 with a 2.2 or higher.
  • Graduates training on a primary maths specialist course or primary general (with maths) course can get bursaries of £6,000 if they have a 2.2 or higher. In all cases at least a B in A level maths (or equivalent) is also needed.

Early career payments for maths

If you teach maths, in addition to the above bursary or scholarship, you could get a £10,000 early career payment. You'll need to have completed a non-salaried teacher training course and received a bursary or scholarship in the 2018/19 or 2019/20 academic year. You will receive two payments of £5,000 after tax in your third and fifth years of teaching. If you are teaching in one of a number of specified areas in England, this increases to £7,500. You must have taught in a state-funded school in England since qualifying. Further details are available on GOV.UK.

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.

The DfE have announced details of a pilot programme for reimbursing the student loan repayments made by teachers of languages and science (biology, chemistry, physics and computing) after they gain qualified teacher status. The scheme only operates in certain local authority areas where improving recruitment and retention is most challenging. Details of the scheme and a list of the full criteria are available online.

Funding for early years initial teacher training

For those starting the main graduate entry training in 2019, 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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