Boost announced for teacher training bursaries

The government has announced graduates applying to train as secondary school teachers in ‘high priority’ subjects will receive increases to tax-free cash bursaries and scholarships from next year.

This is to, in the government’s words, ‘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 subjects of maths, physics, chemistry and computing.

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

The government said this 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.

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.

Teachers in the first five years of their career teaching maths, physics, chemistry and computing in disadvantaged schools are also able to claim the ‘Levelling Up Premium’.

The government said this premium is worth up to £3000 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.

£20,000 bursaries for biology and design and technology represent increases of £10,000 and £5000 respectively on the current academic year.

The bursaries will be paid in ten monthly instalments over the duration of a teacher training course.

A £15,000 tax-free bursary for English will also be reintroduced.

The government said the funding available is the latest step towards their intention for every child to be taught by an excellent teacher.

Louis Barson, director of science, innovation an 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 focusing 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 mutual supportive community.” 

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