Tax-free cash bursaries to be offered to trainee teachers in high-demand subjects

Tax-free cash bursaries will be offered to trainee teachers in high-demand subjects under new government plans to recruit and retain world-class teachers.

The government say that a total of £129 million will be available for trainee teachers starting in 2022/23, which includes increased bursaries of £15,000 for languages, geography and design and technology, and £10,000 for biology – in addition to the existing £24,000 bursary or £26,000 scholarship for maths, physics, chemistry and computing.

This follows an announcement by the prime minister that teachers of maths, physics, chemistry and computing in the first five years of their careers will receive salary boosts of up to £3,000 – to support the recruitment and retention of specialist teachers in these subjects.

Existing teachers and school leaders in every school in the country will also be able to access free qualifications including managing behaviour, developing other teachers and being a great head teacher.

The National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) will help them develop and progress in their careers, and ensure they have the skills needed to support young people to catch up and thrive following the impact of the pandemic.

Schools Minister Robin Walker said: “Great teachers can transform young people’s lives, and I want this country to recruit and retain the most talented, committed teachers who support students to thrive and achieve their potential.

“Quality, face to face teaching is the single most important factor in supporting our young people to recover from the impact of the pandemic, and this investment provides a fantastic opportunity to attract and develop the world-leading teachers and school leaders who will guide, care for and educate our children for years to come.”

Research has shown that teacher quality is the single biggest determinant of pupils’ outcomes within school, and the government say they are investing £184 million to provide 150,000 high-quality NPQs across the next three years. This forms part of the government’s planned commitment to provide 500,000 teacher training opportunities across all levels of the profession during this parliament, helping to give every single student the opportunity to be taught by dedicated, highly-trained teachers, and level up opportunity across the country.

NPQs are trusted qualifications accredited by the Department for Education, for those employed at state-funded schools and 16-19 organisations.

Applications for teacher training are now open through the department’s new Apply service, which was designed to streamline the application process and help prospective teachers find the right course for them.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “NAHT has campaigned strongly for all teachers to be able to access fully funded professional qualifications. It’s good that funding for the full range of NPQs is no longer restricted to only some schools.

“Widening the criteria is helpful to allow more teachers and leaders to access the funding that government had already set aside for CPD, but will not resolve the serious leadership supply crisis facing schools.”

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