Early-career payments for teachers

Eligible chemistry, languages, mathematics and physics teachers can apply for early-career payments between September and March.

Applies to England

Applications are currently closed

You can no longer claim for the academic year 2023 to 2024. You’ll be able to claim for the academic year 2024 to 2025 from September.

When to apply and payments

You need to apply at different times depending on:

  • the subject you teach
  • in which academic year your initial teacher training (ITT) course started (postgraduate) or finished (undergraduate)

You can can apply from September in the 2024 to 2025 academic year.

You may also be entitled to an uplift payment.

Early career payment amounts depend on when your ITT course started (postgraduate) or finished (undergraduate)

Subject ITT course start or finish Academic years in which to apply Amount
Mathematics 2019 to 2020 2024 £5,000
Mathematics 2020 to 2021 2024 £2,000
Physics 2020 to 2021 2024 £2,000
Chemistry 2020 to 2021 2024 £2,000
Languages 2020 to 2021 2024 £2,000

The academic year runs from 1 September to 31 August.

Eligibility criteria

You must meet the eligibility criteria to be able to claim any additional payments.

From September 2024 to March 2025, you will be able to answer some questions to find out what additional payments you are eligible to claim. Even if you are eligible to claim more than one type of additional payment, you will only be able to claim one such payment per academic year.

Learn more about what additional payments are available.


You will be eligible if you started a postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) course or completed an undergraduate ITT course in the following subjects and academic years:

  • mathematics in the 2019 to 2020, or 2020 to 2021 academic year
  • physics, chemistry and languages in the 2020 to 2021 academic year

Postgraduate ITT includes:

  • university-led and school-led courses, such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • School Direct ITT
  • School Centred ITT (SCITT)
  • Teach First
  • Postgraduate teaching apprenticeship

Undergraduate ITT includes:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree with QTS

If you were awarded QTS through assessment only or overseas recognition in the 2019 to 2020, or 2020 to 2021 academic years, you will also be eligible.

A list of eligible ITT codes (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 13.7 KB) is available.


You must have either:


You must be employed as a teacher in a state-funded secondary school (or middle-deemed secondary school) in England when you apply for the payment. These include:

  • local authority-maintained schools
  • academies, free schools or multi-academy trusts
  • local-authority-maintained or non-maintained special schools

You must have:

  • started your induction before applying for your first early-career payment
  • completed your induction before applying for subsequent early-career payments (or completed at least one year of your induction if you completed your ITT in the 2020 to 2021 academic year)
  • spent at least 50% of your contracted hours allocated to teaching one or more of the eligible subjects at the time of the application

Supply, independent school and sixth-form college teachers

If you are a supply teacher, you must:

  • be employed directly by the school to be eligible
  • have been working for at least one term before applying

If you are employed by a private supply-teaching agency or teach in an independent school or sixth-form college, you are not eligible.

Part-time teachers

If you are a part-time teacher, you are eligible for the same early-career payment amounts as a full-time teacher.

You still need to meet all of the eligibility criteria.

Breaks in teaching

You are allowed to have some breaks in your normal employment such as:

  • sickness
  • maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave

You should apply for payments as usual during these breaks, before the claim window closes each year


You must not currently be subject to any:

  • formal performance measures as a result of continuous poor teaching standards
  • disciplinary action

Local authorities with uplift payments

You will need to be teaching in an uplift area at the time you apply to be eligible for an uplift payment.

All payments of £5,000 increase to £7,500 in an uplift payment area.

All payments of £2,000 increase to £3,000 in an uplift payment area.

The local authorities are:

  • Barnsley
  • Blackpool
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Bradford
  • Coventry
  • Derby
  • Doncaster
  • Dudley
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Halton
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kingston Upon Hull, City of
  • Kirklees
  • Knowsley
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Luton
  • Middlesbrough
  • Milton Keynes
  • North Lincolnshire
  • Northumberland
  • Nottingham
  • Oldham
  • Peterborough
  • Portsmouth
  • Reading
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Sandwell
  • Sefton
  • Sheffield
  • St Helens
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Swindon
  • Tameside
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Walsall
  • Warrington
  • Wolverhampton

Payments and deductions

Number of payments

The Department for Education (DfE) makes the payment in one lump sum.

If you are eligible for both the levelling up premium and early-career payments, you can only claim one of these additional payments in the same academic year.

However, if you are eligible to claim back your student loan repayments, you will be able to claim this as well as a levelling up premium payment or early-career payment.

Taxable income and National Insurance

DfE will pay Income Tax up to the basic rate and National Insurance for the payment on your behalf. The basic rate of tax is currently based on an annual income of £12,571 to £50,270, taxed at a rate of 20%.

You will need to pay any Income Tax over the higher rate through PAYE if you become or already are a higher rate taxpayer. The higher rate is currently an income of £50,271 to £125,140, taxed at a rate of 40%.

You can review the tax bands on Income Tax rates and personal allowances.

The payment is not part of your salary from your employer. You, your employer or the government will not contribute to your pension as part of this payment.

You should consider any other benefits or tax credits that could be affected if you claim this benefit, such as the High Income Child Benefit Charge or Marriage Allowance.

Your payment, along with the Income Tax and National Insurance contributions paid on your behalf, will all count towards your income.

Student loan deductions

If you have a student loan, a deduction will go towards repaying it. This is taken off your payment automatically.


For any queries about early-career payments, email

Published 5 October 2019
Last updated 31 March 2024 + show all updates
  1. Removed the 'Apply now' section as the claims window for the 2023 to 2024 academic year has now closed. Also updated the 'breaks in teaching' section.

  2. Amended the wording in the Taxable income and National insurance section for clarity.

  3. The window to apply for early career payments is now open and eligible teachers can apply.

  4. Added the dates on which applications open in 2023 and close in 2024, and a link to eligible initial teacher training codes.

  5. 'Register your interest' forms have been added for the academic year 2023 to 2024.

  6. Updated to show that applications closed on 31 March.

  7. Eligible teachers can now apply for payments until March, rather than January.

  8. Page updated as eligible teachers can now claim early career payments.

  9. Added information about the levelling up premium payments for teachers.

  10. Updated to reflect latest changes and that the early career payments scheme for 2021 to 2022 has closed.

  11. Added a link to apply for an early-career payment as the claims window is now open.

  12. Page updated to clarify that you must be employed as a teacher in a state-funded secondary school in England to apply.

  13. Updated eligibility criteria and payment details.

  14. First published.