Being able to support yourself while taking the time to complete your teacher training course is an important consideration when it comes to making the decision to apply. In this article, we look at the different options available when it comes to teacher training funding.
Teacher training funding for undergraduate courses
Students from the UK and EU who choose to study a full-time undergraduate teacher training course can apply for the same student loans for maintenance and to cover tuition fees as other undergraduate students undertaking their first higher education course. You can check to see if you’re eligible for student finance here.
Maths and physics undergraduates
A teacher training bursary of up to £9,000 is available to anyone who chooses to study a secondary maths or physics education undergraduate degree which leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This bursary is paid directly into your bank account in equal amounts every month during the final year of your course.
Troops to Teachers
If you’re a veteran from the Armed Forces, you may be able to benefit from a tax-free bursary of up to £40,000 to contribute towards your teacher training funding. The amount will be paid directly into your bank account in equal amounts during each month of the final two years of your course. This teacher training bursary is available to those who take up a degree in secondary biology, physics, chemistry, computing or maths.
Teacher training funding for postgraduate courses
Tax-free bursaries or scholarships
The financial considerations when choosing to undertake a postgraduate course in teacher training play a huge part in whether you go ahead with your application. The UK Government has heeded this, and every year makes available a range of generous teaching scholarships and bursaries for those looking to study a PGCE in subjects where teachers are in short supply
In fact, the amounts have increased significantly for the 2023/24 academic year across several subjects. Maths, physics, chemistry and computing trainee teachers will attract a £27,000 bursary, an increase in £3,000 from the previous year. Other subjects have seen an even bigger increase – eligible PGCE Geography students will receive £25,000 and PGCE Biology students £20,000, both a £10k increase. Even trainee English teachers, who weren't eligible for funding for the last two years, will attract a bursary of £15,000 to aid their studies.
You don’t need to apply for a tax-free bursary – once you’re enrolled on your PGCE course and if you meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll receive payments in equal monthly instalments directly into your bank account for the duration of your course.
For certain subject areas, there are scholarships available to assist you with your teacher training funding. These are awarded on a scale basis in partnership with highly regarded professional subject associations to the most gifted trainees in physics, maths, chemistry and computing.
Find out more about scholarships and bursaries which may be available to you.
Tuition fee and maintenance loans
As with all other postgraduate courses, regardless of your qualifications and the subject you want to teach, tuition fee and maintenance loans are available. You can apply for these to cover both course and living costs for the duration of your studying. Repayments of these loans will only start once you get a job after graduating and start earning over the threshold amount – these are also dependent on how much over the threshold you’re earning.
Once you’ve accepted your place onto a PGCE teacher training course, you can apply for these loans via Student Finance England (SFE).
Salaried teacher training
Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeships offer a combination of classroom teaching, practical learning and a salary – where 20% of your time is allocated to off-the-job training as you work towards gaining Qualified Teacher Status.
School Direct (Salaried) allows you to earn a salary and train to become a qualified teacher by learning from experienced teachers. Trainees on salaried courses are interviewed by the schools directly, with the hope of continuing their teaching in that school, following completion of their training.
Both of the above courses award QTS, the cost of which is covered by the school.
Teacher training funding for international students
If you live outside of the UK, you’re only likely to receive teacher training funding if you have permission to live in the UK permanently and you’ll also have to meet some other eligibility requirements.
International students are able to apply for the PGCE School Direct route, however, competition is strong and you will usually need to have achieved highly in your undergraduate degree and have at least three years of relevant work experience. Find out more about teacher training in England as an international student here.
Additionally, teaching bursaries and funding differs for students who live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, so you’ll also need to check your eligibility in this case.
Teacher training funding for those with a disability
If you’re disabled or have a learning difficulty or health issue, you may be entitled to a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help with your teacher training funding, which doesn’t need to be paid back. The DSA can assist with the cost of specialist equipment, non-medical helpers such as an interpreter, travel costs and other disability-related study support. You can read more about the Disabled Students’ Allowance and eligibility here.
For more information on the teacher training courses we offer at the University of Sunderland, head to the Education subject area. If you have any further questions about teacher training funding, please contact our Student Financial Advice Team.
Published: 25 October 2022