DfE cuts and cancels some teacher training bursaries

The government has cut some teacher training bursaries as well as scrapping others altogether, it has been revealed in new guidance on initial teacher training funding for the 2021-22 academic year.

NASBTT Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “Whilst the current financial situation faced by the government is an unprecedented one, we are disappointed that a short-term view has been taken on financial incentives designed to attract the best quality candidates into our classrooms. The immediate increase that we have seen in teacher recruitment does not solve the longer term recruitment crisis, it only disguises it, and failing to take a long-term view will only store up issues for the future.
"We are particularly disappointed by the decision to remove School Direct salaried funding for primary. We have consistently pointed out that recruitment to primary is problematic in many areas of the country and whilst the Teacher Supply Model suggests that we are meeting targets, views on the ground do not support this conclusion. We are also concerned by the messages that the disparity in bursary funding levels sends out in terms of the relative worth of different subjects and phases of teaching. The lack of bursary funding for primary and a whole range of secondary subjects is also likely to have an adverse effect on social mobility, with many groups of potential applicants unable to pursue a career in teaching due to the lack of financial support available to them.
"Specifically on the DfE scrapping the early career payments from next year, we have been at pains to point out that the teacher retention crisis is perhaps more acute even than the recruitment crisis. There is nothing which currently suggests that teacher retention will drastically improve unless concerted efforts continue to be made to make the profession an attractive one in the long-term. Whilst early career payments were only one small part of the picture in achieving this, it seems premature to be removing them with no clear evidence of how retention might play out for the current cohorts of teachers.”

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