Nowadays, studying towards any degree is not exactly cheap. Studying and becoming a teacher isn’t much cheaper either. With rising tuition fees, cutbacks, maintenance expenses, and long-term commitments, it’s no wonder that teaching is becoming an increasingly difficult career path.
It doesn’t help that the Golden Hello Scheme was scrapped earlier this year. The scheme was a one-off payment of up to £5,000 to encourage newly-qualified teachers into classrooms. It’s all golden goodbyes as teacher training schemes are also looking to abolish bursaries of up to £6,000 a year for students looking to teach subjects like English, History, Geography and Art, because there are enough teachers in these subjects at the moment.
It may seem all doom and gloom in the world of teaching, but don’t fret as there are still plenty of different options to help finance your teacher training.
There is a range of grants, loans, bursaries and awards available for trainee teachers in the UK. Aspiring teachers are eligible for financial support whilst still studying or training. Postgraduate or undergraduate students have access to extra help with the costs of their teacher training. They can apply for student finance for full-time or part-time teacher training courses in Initial Teacher Training (ITT), Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT).
Not only that, but the standard student support is still available to all teaching students in full-time or part-time education. Student finance can help students with tuition fee loans to pay for courses and maintenance loans and grants to help with living costs. Some students may also be eligible to apply for extra help on top of the main student finance package if they have low income, children or dependent adults.
In addition to student finance, postgraduate students can be eligible for training bursaries or scholarships from the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Tax-free bursaries of up to £20,000 and scholarships of up to £25,000 are available for students. These bursaries and scholarships encourage students with top grades and exceptional achievements to join the teaching profession. The amount of bursary and scholarship will depend on the chosen degree subject; and students are awarded either a scholarship or a bursary.
Aside from bursary and scholarship help, there are other ways for teachers in training to receive financial aid. Through the help of School Direct programmes, trainee teachers can be employed by schools and earn a salary whilst working towards a qualified teacher status. Programmes such as the Employment-Based Initial Teacher Training (EBITT) and the School Direct Training Programme (Salaried) are employment-based programmes that allow graduates to qualify as a teacher whilst working. To be eligible, trainees must have at least three years’ work experience.
Even with the constant changing university finances and bursary scheme cuts in the education sector, teachers can breathe a sigh of relief as expected starting salaries for new teachers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland vary between £21,588 to £31,522. This is higher compared to other graduate professions. The latest data shows that 9 out of 10 new teachers have secured a teaching job within the first 12 months.