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Financial support for ITT

Note: In order to be eligible for bursaries and student finance, you’ll need to be a postgraduate student on a fee-paying course. If you are going to be employed by a school on an employment-based initial teacher training (ITT) route e.g. School Direct (salaried), Assessment Only (AO) or a Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship, then with the exception of financial support for childcare and Child Tax Credits, you won’t be eligible for bursaries or financial support for ITT from Student Finance England (SFE) because you’ll be an employee, not a student.

Note that if you currently live in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, but are planning to train to teach in England, you’ll usually need to apply for student finance from your home country (Student Awards Agency ScotlandStudent Finance Wales or Student Finance Northern Ireland) - though we suggest you check with Student Finance England (SFE) first to see if you are eligible: www.gov.uk/contact-student-finance-england. Also, if you are from the EU, another EEA country, or a Swiss national, the rules are changing – more details here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/student-support-in-england.

If you have any questions or are refused financial support for ITT for any reason, please let us know asap so we can give you further advice.

 

Bursaries

If you are on a fee-paying course and are eligible, a tax-free bursary of up to £24,000 may be paid to support you during your ITT year. The amount of bursary reflects the demand for Secondary teachers (there are no bursaries for Primary training for 2021-22). For more details, see: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-my-teacher-training/bursaries-and-scholarships-for-teacher-training

You’ll usually need to provide your ITT provider with proof of your eligibility for student finance (unless your ITT provider assesses you themselves), so your ITT provider can pay you the bursary whilst you are training. This is why it’s important you apply to Student Finance England (SFE) for student finance ASAP (applications usually open around January / February), so SFE can issue you with a confirmation letter which you can then give to your ITT provider: www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance. It can also take some time for SFE to make an assessment, particularly if they need to ask you for proof of your household income / outgoings. You’ll also need to satisfy all the conditions of your offer (i.e. a clear enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check; fitness to teach; and any other conditions of your offer e.g. to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course). Your ITT provider will then inform the Department for Education (DfE) that you’ve been accepted on your ITT course - and the DfE will pay the bursary to your ITT provider.

Your bursary will then be paid to you by your ITT provider on a monthly basis over 10 months, from October to July, in equal instalments. For more details, see: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview/how-you-will-be-paid. Also note that if you complete your ITT in one year and secure a newly qualified teacher (NQT) post starting in September 2022, your first salary payment probably won’t be until the end of September 2022. So, you’ll need to consider how you’ll support yourself financially between the end of June (when your ITT course is likely to finish), and end of September 2022, unless you are employed in a school from the Summer Term 2022 straight after completing your ITT, in which case, you may be paid a salary over the summer holidays, depending on the terms of your contract.

 

Course fees

You’ll need to pay course fees for your ITT course. For 2021-22, the maximum course fees that can be charged are £9,250. The time at which you’ll be asked to pay these course fees, and the amounts, can vary between ITT provider -  but they will either ask you to prove you can pay, or ask you to pay some or all of the fees, before the course starts. Contact your ITT provider to ask. Note that if you are on a School Direct (salaried) course, the DfE will pay your course fees for the qualified teacher status (QTS) part of your course – but you may still be asked to pay course fees for the PGCE part of your course.

When you apply to Student Finance England (SFE) for financial support, they will also assess your eligibility for a Tuition Fee loan from the Student Loans Company (SLC) – and if you haven’t already applied for student finance, we recommend you apply ASAP (applications usually open around January / February) because it will take time for SFE to assess your application, particularly if they ask you to provide proof of recent income / outgoings. If you already have a Tuition Fee loan from previous study (e.g. an undergraduate degree), the new loan will be added to your SLC loan account and you’ll pay it back once you start earning a salary.

Some ITT providers can arrange to take your course fees out of any bursary or scholarship you receive, on a monthly basis. Speak to your ITT provider if you are interested in paying your course fees this way. Note, however, that you may still need to apply to Student Finance England (SFE) in order to obtain a letter proving that you are eligible for student finance, in order to receive a bursary or scholarship. Ask your ITT provider for advice. The Moneysavingexpert.com website has some useful information on student loan myths, to help you to decide whether to ask your ITT provider to pay off your loan whilst you are on ITT using part of your bursary; or to pay it out of your salary later once you are in a teaching post: www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes/

More details about the Tuition Fee loan and other financial support available from SFE (including maintenance loans) are on the Get into Teaching website here: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-my-teacher-training/tuition-fee-and-maintenance-loans

To apply for student finance, use this link: www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance

 

Scholarships

In partnership with highly regarded professional subject associations, £26,000 tax-free scholarships are awarded to trainees looking to inspire young minds in Secondary Chemistry, Computing, Maths, and Physics.

A scholarship is not awarded automatically – you have to apply to the professional association for your subject. This is because scholarships are very prestigious (there are a limited number for each subject every year - so it will look very good on your CV if you receive a scholarship), as well as giving you an additional support network during your ITT and newly qualified teacher (NQT) years (though you’ll still have support from Transition to Teach). You’ll need to complete a subject knowledge test online when applying for a scholarship (note – the pass mark required isn’t as high as you think, so don’t worry if you don’t get all the answers right!) and if you pass that, you’ll be invited to an Assessment Day (most likely an interview to be conducted online, if coronavirus restrictions are still in place). The subject associations are looking for trainees who not only have good subject knowledge and practical skills, but who are going to inspire and engage pupils in their learning and be an ambassador for their subject in their future career.

Note that, like bursaries, you’ll need to be eligible for student finance in order to receive a scholarship. Further details about the eligibility criteria and application and assessment processes are on the individual professional association websites – you can find the links here: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/overview/scholarships

If you apply for a scholarship, please let us know whether you are successful or not. We can also give you general advice about preparing for a scholarship Assessment Day. Note that if you are not successful applying for a scholarship, you’ll still receive a bursary – so you’ve nothing to lose by applying!

 

Support for children

If you have a family with children aged under 18, and / or an adult dependant, then depending on your individual circumstances, financial support may be available from Student Finance England (SFE) in the form of the following:

  • Parents’ Learning Allowance
  • Childcare grants
  • Adult Dependants’ grant 
  • Child Tax Credits

For more details, see: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-my-teacher-training/extra-financial-support

Details about help with paying for childcare are on the Government’s Childcare Choices website here: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

 

Support for trainee teachers with disabilities

If you consider yourself to have a disability, you may be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA): www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas.

You have the right not to declare a disability. However, we would recommend you do declare any disabilities to your ITT provider, so that they can put in place any assessment / support required whilst you are on your course e.g. additional equipment, tutoring support and / or additional time to complete assignments. If you are concerned about doing this, please ask your pre-ITT Guidance and Development Adviser (GDA) for advice before speaking to your ITT provider.

 

Council Tax

If you are a student on a fee-paying course, then dependent on how many adults you have working in your household, you may be eligible for a Council Tax discount or exemption whilst you are on a full-time course. Once you have proof (e.g. a letter from your ITT provider) that you are a student on a full-time course, contact your local council tax office to inform them. Note that if you are on a full-time Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course, you may be eligible for a Council Tax discount or exemption, but that will be dependent on the individual council, as some councils won’t accept SKE courses as being eligible because they generally don’t lead to a qualification: www.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-for-full-time-students

 

Student Discount Card

Once you have proof from your ITT provider and / or Student Finance England (SFE) that you are a student, you can apply for a Student Discount Card to receive discounts on shopping / special offers etc. There is also a free version, called Totum Digital.

 

Other offers

Once you have an official student or school email address (e.g. ending ‘.ac.uk’ or ‘.sch.uk’), you may be eligible for free software if your school or university are taking part in a scheme. For instance, Microsoft offer their Office 365 Education package free to students: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/education/products/office

 

Am I eligible?

Interested in making a career change? Transition to Teach is a free service funded by the Department for Education. We can support career changers who meet our eligibility criteria.