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Funding for teacher training

Funding for teacher training

You might be surprised by the bursaries and scholarships available to train to teach some subjects. Paul Barnes from the University of Portsmouth gives information about the financial support and loans provided 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 first, 2.1, 2.2, masters or PhD to be eligible for a bursary or scholarship
  • 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 only start making repayments to the loan once your income is over the threshold amount for your particular repayment plan.

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, tax-free bursaries are available for trainee teachers on some unsalaried full-time and part-time training programmes. The amount you receive depends on the subject you plan to teach and your degree class.

The bursaries for teacher training courses starting in 2021/2022 are as follows:

  • Graduates who are training to teach chemistry, computing, maths or physics can apply for scholarships of £26,000 or for bursaries of £24,000. The scholarships are awarded by the relevant professional body and you need to apply directly to them. 
  • Graduates training to teach languages or classics can apply for a bursary of £10,000
  • Graduates training to teach biology can access a bursary of £7,000.

For any other subjects you can receive funding through loans and grants as detailed below.

Loans and grants to cover tuition fees and maintenance

Tuition fees have to be paid for postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) courses and the amount of these will vary depending on the course and institution.Students from the UK and EU countries on full-time and part-time courses may be eligible for a loan to cover tuition fees.

UK 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

Funding details for 2021/22 will be published in due course. As an example of what has previously been available, for those starting the main graduate entry training in 2020, the following funding was 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, a doctorate degree or a 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 PGCEs or similar 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.

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