Teachers: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to incentivise high-performing graduates to take up teacher training.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Government is committed to recruiting the most talented graduates to enter initial teacher training (ITT). We offer a range of financial incentives to attract the very best graduates into teaching. From 2012/13, the highest bursaries for ITT have been awarded to graduates with first or 2:1 degree classifications and for subjects in which it is traditionally difficult to recruit for.

In September 2014, we announced increases to tax-free ITT bursaries for chemistry, computing, maths, physics and languages trainee teachers to £25,000 for graduates with first class degrees starting their ITT in 2015/16. Trainees with a 2:1 degree training to teach physics will also receive £25,000 and those training to teach chemistry, maths, computing and languages will receive £20,000. We have also increased bursaries in biology, geography, design and technology (D&T), and primary maths, and introduced a new bursary for religious education (RE). Full details of financial incentives for ITT are published online at:


In addition, we work in partnership with professional bodies to offer tax-free scholarship awards of £25,000 to those entering chemistry, computing, maths and physics ITT. These prestigious awards are aimed at high-quality graduates who are passionate about their subject and have the potential to be inspirational teachers.

As well as the financial award, scholars gain access to a range of support and resource not available to non-scholars including: membership to a range of scholar communities; mentoring, including career mentoring, by expert subject teachers and employers; networking events and educational trips throughout the training year and; continuing professional development opportunities. Upon completion of the course, scholars are expected to become ambassadors for the scheme sharing their resources and support with other teachers and colleagues.

Since 2010, the proportion of new entrants to ITT with a 2:1 or first class degree has increased from 63% to 73% in 2014/15. Larger increases have been seen in subjects such as maths and physics.

The Government continues to fund Teach First, and for 2015/16 ITT we have increased the number of places by 33%, from 1,500 to 2000. We have also recently announced an expansion of the popular Chairs in Maths and Physics programme, which looks to attract some of the brightest and best post-doctoral researchers into the classroom by providing enhanced salaries and a dedicated training and development programme.

Decisions on financial incentives for ITT are taken on an annual basis in light of recruitment performance.

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