Teachers: Science

Department for Education written question – answered on 6th September 2021.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide additional funding to support trainee and newly-qualified science teachers; what discussions he has had with the Royal Society of Chemistry on that matter; and if he will make a statement.

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

The Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms will create a step change in support for all early career teachers, including early career science teachers, providing a funded entitlement to a structured two year package of high quality professional development. The Royal Society of Chemistry was consulted as the ECF reforms were developed.

All state-funded schools offering statutory induction will receive additional funding to deliver the ECF reforms. The funding will cover 5% off timetable in the second year of induction for all early career teachers to undertake induction activities including training and mentoring. The funding will also cover 20 hours of mentoring across the academic year to allow mentors to support early career teachers in the second year of induction.

It is expected that most schools will use a Department for Education (DfE) funded training provider who will design and deliver a comprehensive programme of face to face and online training to support their early career teachers. Schools using a DfE funded, provider-led programme will also receive additional funding for mentor backfill for time off timetable for training.

In recognition of the challenging initial teacher training and induction that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have experienced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all state-funded schools that currently have an NQT who is due to complete induction this summer will be eligible for a one-off payment of funding. This will be the equivalent of an additional 5% off timetable for the next academic year so these teachers have additional time to invest in their development.

The Department offers a £24,000 tax-free bursary to teacher trainees training in the highest priority subjects, including chemistry and physics, along with prestigious tax-free scholarships worth £26,000. The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) scholarship programme provides selected ITT trainees with a range of support during their ITT year and beyond to enhance teaching ability and increase their subject knowledge.

A £7,000 tax-free bursary is also available for biology trainees. All science trainee teachers on tuition fee-funded ITT routes can apply for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to support their living costs. Additional student finance is also available depending on individual circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses are available in Chemistry, Physics or Biology for ITT candidates who have a conditional offer to gain the depth of knowledge needed to teach their chosen subject.

The Department is also piloting two retention payment schemes for science teachers. The Teachers’ Student Loan Reimbursement Pilot scheme aims to increase recruitment and retention of teachers in physics, chemistry and biology. It allows these teachers in 25 local authorities to claim back student loan repayments for up to 11 years after qualifying. Physics and chemistry teachers who completed ITT in the 2020/21 academic year will also be able to claim Early Career Payments (ECPs) of £2,000 each in the second, third and fourth years of teaching, or uplifted £3,000 ECPs if teaching in one of 39 local authorities.

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