Press release

Bigger bursaries and scholarships to attract more top graduates into teaching

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prestigious new scholarships and bursaries to attract more high-quality graduates into teaching important, rigorous subjects.

Schools Minister David Laws said more scholarships and bursaries would be available to help recruit the most talented graduates with the potential to be brilliant teachers in key subjects. This would help raise standards in schools and ensure all children were given a good education.

Scholarships, awarded by respected subject organisations, will be available to the most talented maths, physics, chemistry and computing trainees. Bursaries will be available to top graduates in maths, physics, chemistry, computing, and languages, in primary and in priority subjects at secondary school (English, history, biology, geography, music, and design and technology).

The government introduced scholarships in 2011. Since then, 425 high-quality graduates in maths, physics, chemistry and computing have been attracted to teaching through the scheme. A further 680 teacher training scholarships will be available for trainees starting in the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

The following changes to scholarships and bursaries are being introduced for the 2014 to 2015 academic year:

  • scholarships for graduates training to teach maths, physics, chemistry and computing with a 2:1 or better will increase from £20,000 to £25,000. The scholarship is paid instead of the standard bursary
  • bursaries for graduates training to teach maths and physics with a 2:1 will increase from £15,000 to £20,000, matching bursaries for those with a first. For those with a 2:2, bursaries will increase from £12,000 to £15,000. New bursaries of £9,000 will be introduced for maths and physics trainees with a relevant degree and a good A level in the subject (a grade B or higher)
  • bursaries for graduates training to teach computing with a first or 2:1 will increase to £20,000, from £9,000 and £4,000 respectively. New bursaries will also be introduced for those with a 2:2, worth £15,000
  • graduates training to teach design and technology will receive bursaries worth £9,000 for those with a first and £4,000 for those with a 2:1
  • bursaries for primary maths specialists with a 2:1 degree will increase from £6,000 to £11,000, matching bursaries for those with a first. New bursaries will be introduced for those with a 2:2, worth £6,000

The following bursaries will continue at the same level as in the 2013 to 2014 academic year:

  • graduates training to teach maths, physics, chemistry and modern languages with a first will continue to receive bursaries worth £20,000
  • graduates training to teach chemistry and modern languages with a 2:1 will continue to receive £15,000, while those with a 2:2 will continue to receive £12,000
  • graduates training to teach English, history, biology, geography, music and primary with a first class degree will continue to receive £9,000, and those with a 2:1 will continue to receive £4,000
  • primary maths specialists with a first will continue to receive £11,000

David Laws said:

We want to recruit the most talented graduates with the potential to be brilliant teachers in key subjects. The expansion of the scholarships and bursaries schemes will help us to attract these graduates into teaching - ensuring that all children get the education they deserve.

Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

Teaching is a great career - and it is essential that we recruit brilliant graduates to teach the future generation of leading mathematicians, scientists, designers and linguists.

Scholarships and bursaries will help recruit the best, and I am delighted we are expanding these excellent awards, giving more top graduates the opportunity to become teachers.

Physics scholarships

Physics scholarships are awarded by the Institute of Physics (IOP). This year there are up to 150 scholarships worth £25,000 each available to the most talented physics graduates - an increase from 100 scholarships worth £20,000 last year.

The IOP offers additional benefits to successful scholars. This includes membership to the IOP; mentoring through the IOP’s Stimulating Physics Support (SPS) programme; networking and support from scholarship peers; and an opportunity to contribute to physics education policy.

Dr Frances Saunders, President of IOP, said:

The increase in the number of scholarships available allows us to offer a larger number of physicists the opportunity to become inspirational teachers and helps us increase the subject expertise in physics education. Through the scheme we hope to forge relationships that will endure beyond the scholars’ period of teacher training. We aim to develop a network of outstanding physics teachers, who will become part of a community of physicists across schools, universities and business.

Maths scholarships

Maths scholarships are awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), in collaboration with the London Mathematical Society (LMS), the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), and Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI).

This year up to 250 scholarships are available - an increase from 150 scholarships last year. They are worth £25,000 - an increase of £5,000 from last year.

The IMA and its partners offer additional benefits to successful scholars. This includes membership of the IMA, LMS, RSS, and MEI as well as access to online resources including MEI’s online maths teaching and learning resources.

Nigel Steele, IMA Honorary Education Secretary, said:

Mathematics is now understood to be of vital importance to the economy of this country. The first priority must be to attract those who can become the most effective teachers of mathematics to join the profession. We need them to inspire future generations to engage with the subject and discover the wealth of opportunities it can create.

Charlie Stripp, Chief Executive of MEI, said

We need more inspirational young people with a passion for mathematics to join the teaching profession. Good mathematics education is vital for our country’s future economic success and teaching mathematics is a very important and rewarding job. These scholarships are extremely welcome.

Alice Rogers, LMS Education Secretary, said:

The first year of the scheme has seen more than 90 scholars who promise as they embark on their training year to become strong teachers, able to contribute a deep understanding of mathematics both to the schools where they teach and to nationwide developments in mathematics education. It is excellent that the scheme will continue.

Roeland Beerten, RSS Director of Professional and Public Affairs, said:

The Royal Statistical Society welcomes the extension of this scholarship scheme. The country needs teachers who can encourage our children to learn mathematics and statistics in an engaging and relevant way - not just to prepare them for future employment or education but as a key life skill in itself, so they can thrive and succeed in an increasingly data-rich society.

Chemistry scholarships

Chemistry scholarships are awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). This year up to 180 scholarships are available - an increase from 130 scholarships last year. They are worth £25,000 - an increase of £5,000 from last year.

The RSC offers additional benefits to successful scholars. This includes membership to the RSC, and to national and regional support networks including mentoring.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:

The scholarships we awarded last year have been a great success, with excellent feedback from the trainees on the learning and confidence they have gained as chemistry teachers, and the support they have received through the scheme.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is committed to ensuring that students get the best chemistry education. To achieve this, we need to increase the number of chemistry-qualified teachers who teach the subject, who can engage and inspire students with their enthusiasm and confidence in their subject.

To ensure we have the scientists we will need in the future – to deliver excellent research that will drive growth and solve challenges from energy and climate change to new healthcare solutions – we need to start with inspirational teaching. Many of today’s great scientists will tell you that they were inspired by a science teacher at school.

But the best chemistry teachers aren’t just vital for providing the next generation of chemical scientists. We need scientifically literate young people in all walks of life to increase Britain’s industrial and commercial competitiveness in the global market.

Computing scholarships

Computing scholarships are awarded by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Last year it awarded 57 scholarships worth £20,000. This year up to 100 scholarships worth £25,000 will be available.

The BCS will also arrange mentoring and development opportunities with schools, universities and major employers. The scheme has the backing of major industry names including Microsoft, IBM, BT, Google, Meta Switch Networks, HP, Toshiba and Ocado.

Bill Mitchell, Director of BCS Academy of Computing, said:

We are delighted the scholarship scheme is running again this year. It is also very significant that there is a substantial increase in the value of the scholarships to be awarded this year. The value is now not that much less than the average annual earnings of a full-time worker in the UK. The scholarship should help us to attract the very best people to become teachers. Taken with the increase in the other bursaries available for teacher training, the incentives for becoming a computing teacher are now on a par with other subjects such as physics and maths.

Bob Harrison, education advisor for Toshiba, said:

This scholarship scheme goes some way to ensuring we have a workforce capable of teaching the new computing curriculum. There is a considerable challenge but these scholars will inspire other teachers and generations to study computing and follow careers in IT. Toshiba supported the scholarship scheme earlier this year and we were very impressed with the quality of the applicants.

Details of initial teacher training (ITT) bursary changes

Bursaries for 2013 to 2014

Subject Scholarship 1st 2.1 2.2 Good A level and relevant degree
Art - £0 £0 £0 £0
Biology - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Business studies - £0 £0 £0 £0
Chemistry £20,000 £20,000 £15,000 £12,000 £0
Citizenship - £0 £0 £0 £0
Combined/general science - £0 £0 £0 £0
Computing £20,000 £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Design and technology - £0 £0 £0 £0
English - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Geography - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
History - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Mathematics £20,000 £20,000 £15,000 £12,000 £0
Languages - £20,000 £15,000 £12,000 £0
Music - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Physical education - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Physics £20,000 £20,000 £15,000 £12,000 £0
Primary - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Primary specialist - £11,000 £6,000 £0 £0
Religious education - £0 £0 £0 £0

New bursaries for 2014 to 2015

Subject Scholarship 1st 2.1 2.2 Good A level and relevant degree
Art - £0 £0 £0 £0
Biology - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Business studies - £0 £0 £0 £0
Chemistry £25,000 £20,000 £15,000 £12,000 £0
Citizenship - £0 £0 £0 £0
Combined/general science - £0 £0 £0 £0
Computing £25,000 £20,000 £20,000 £15,000 £0
Design and technology - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
English - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Geography - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
History - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Mathematics £25,000 £20,000 £20,000 £15,000 £9,000
Languages - £20,000 £15,000 £12,000 £0
Music - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Physical education - £0 £0 £0 £0
Physics £25,000 £20,000 £20,000 £15,000 £9,000
Primary - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0
Primary specialist - £11,000 £11,000 £6,000 £0
Religious education - £0 £0 £0 £0

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