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Bursaries will help attract best and brightest to teaching - Farron

September 25, 2014 4:11 PM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the announcement by schools minister David Laws MP that bursaries and prestigious scholarships worth £25,000 tax free will be offered to top graduates who choose to get into teaching to help raise standards across England's schools.

Raising teaching standards and delivering the best schools and skills to prepare young people for life in modern Britain is key to building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

To help recruit the best and brightest graduates, with the potential to be brilliant teachers in key subjects, the coalition government has announced increases to financial incentives available to trainees starting in the academic year 2015 to 2016.

Changes include:

  • a £25,000 tax-free bursary (up from £20,000 in 2014 to 2015) for top trainees with a 2:1 or a 1st in physics, or a 1st in maths, chemistry, computing or languages
  • a £20,000 tax-free bursary (up from £15,000 in 2014 to 2015) for graduates with a 2:1 in chemistry or languages, and £15,000 for graduates who get a 2:2 (up from £12,000 last year)
  • increased funding for schools offering salaried School Direct places for trainees in maths, physics and computing to boost the starting pay in these subjects - trainees could earn more than £21,000
  • increased bursaries for trainees in design and technology and geography (£12,000 for a 1st, £9,000 for a 2:1 and £4,000 for a 2:2), biology (£15,000 for a 1st, £12,000 for a 2:1 and £10,000 for a 2:2) and those with a 2:2 in music will now get £4,000
  • a new bursary for trainees in religious education - £9,000 for a 1st and £4,000 for a 2:1.

As well as a range of lucrative bursaries the government is continuing to offer sought-after teacher training scholarships for the most gifted maths, physics, chemistry and computing trainees, in partnership with highly respected professional bodies:

  • the Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • the Institute of Mathematics (IMA)
  • the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Around 1,000 top graduates have already benefited from the scholarship schemes, which have been running since 2011. As well as financial benefits, scholars enjoy a range of perks including free membership to professional bodies, access to resources and events to support them in their teacher training, and early career support through their first years of teaching.

A further 700 scholarships are up for grabs for the 2015 to 2016 academic year worth up to £25,000.

Tim said: "Teaching is not only a hugely rewarding career but it also offers fantastic opportunity for progression. A great teacher really can change the life of a pupil and I am delighted that we are working to attract the best and the brightest into teaching. Locally, we are incredibly lucky to have wonderful teachers and I hope that this announcement will help us to attract even more fantastic teachers to the Lakes."

Schools Minister David Laws added: "We want to attract the best and brightest graduates into the profession, to inspire even more young people to achieve their full potential. Increases to the range of bursaries and prestigious scholarship on offer for core subjects like maths, chemistry and physics will help us recruit the nation's most talented graduates and raise the standard of teaching in our schools so that every child receives the education they deserve. These changes will help build a stronger economy and a fairer society."