Bursary changes hit trainee primary teachers hard

The Department for Education recently revealed it is planning to discontinue the bursaries for students training to be primary school teachers. From 2018 the £3,000 bursary that was offered to people with a first class degree or PhD who wanted to train to teach at primary level will no longer be available.

The discontinuation of the funding could have a big impact on the number of people who decide to move into teaching. At a time when the number of trainees for primary teaching is already on the decline, it may result in a bigger issue with staff shortages in the future.

Over the last few years the Government has made it less appealing for prospective new students to target working in primaries. In 2015 trainees with a first class degree could receive a bursary of £9,000. Those with a second had the chance to apply for up to £4,000. Since then bursaries have been cut and from 2018 will be gone altogether.

The DfE reported that the decision to remove the funding for primary trainees was so that more focus could be placed on encouraging people to train in specialist subjects, particularly those with high priority. As a result the bursaries being offer for 2018 for some subjects will increase substantially.

Biology trainees will receive the biggest boost. Currently they can obtain a bursary of £15,000 if they have a first, £12,000 for a 2:1, and £10,000 for a 2:2. In 2018 people with degrees at one of those three levels could claim up to £26,000.

Prospective English teachers will also see a big increase in their bursaries. Currently a trainee with a first or 2:1 receives £9,000. In 2018 this will rise to £15,000 and people with a 2:2 will also be able to receive some funding.

The situation could be a big negative for the number of people training to work in primaries. It could reduce applicant numbers, potentially even encouraging trainees to focus on a specific subject rather than broader primary level.

At Moore Teachers we specialise in recruiting primary teachers Harlow schools can call on to fill various staffing shortages, including both short and long term positions. We will be on hand to offer assistance to each school in the region that needs us, particularly if the bursary change causes a drop in staff numbers.

If they would like to discuss the recruitment of primary teachers Harlow schools can get in touch with our team. We have a wonderful reputation and work to deliver excellent standards.