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Postgraduate Education: Finance

Education written question – answered on 2nd November 2011.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education

(1) when his Department decided to reduce support for PGCE students starting in September 2011; what support his Department will provide to such students; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what estimate he has made of the saving to the public purse following the reduction in support for PGCE students starting in September 2011.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Details of the training bursary arrangements for PGCE trainees starting courses in September 2011 were announced by the Department on 31 January 2011 and set out in a letter from the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, to the chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools on the same date. The letter confirmed that in 2011/12 £9,000 bursaries are available for PGCE trainees in mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering while those on biology, combined/general science and modern foreign languages courses can receive £6,000 bursaries. All PGCE students can apply for the same student support as undergraduate students, including maintenance loans and means-tested grants.

The cost of providing bursaries for postgraduate trainees that started courses in September 2010 is £151.3 million. The cost of providing bursaries for postgraduate trainees that started courses in September 2011 is £59.5 million.

Our discussion document “Training our next generation of outstanding teachers” sets out proposals for reforming initial teacher training, including providing bursaries designed to make training to teach more attractive to the most talented graduates, especially in shortage subjects, from 2012/13. The proposals set out a bursary rate of between £4,000 and £20,000 depending on the degree classification of the trainee and the subject specialism or phase of the postgraduate course. We expect to announce the final arrangements for 2012/13 shortly. The bursaries will continue to be adjusted regularly according to the size of the pool of potential teachers and the demand from schools for new teachers.

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