Funding for PGCE, SCITT and School Direct teacher training

Don't be put off training to be a teacher because you think you can't afford it: there is plenty of financial help available.

If you've an flair for chemistry, physics, computing or maths, you may be eligible for a scholarship of £25,000 or a tax-free bursary of up to £20,000. An ear for music, or an eye for design and technology, and that could be a £9,000 bursary.

Once qualified you will start on a decent salary (the average is around £23,000) with good career development prospects.

In England and Wales, you can apply to your local authority for PGCE funding. This comes as a loan to cover the cost of fees, which you will not have to repay until you have finished studying and are earning over £21,000 a year. Students from England may also be eligible for a student loan for maintenance to help cover living costs or a means testing non-repayable maintenance grant.

Training bursaries for PGCE, SCITT and School Direct

While in England the teaching shortage that prompted the era of the 'golden hello' for initial teacher training (ITT) is now over, there are still bursaries available to trainees on eligible courses in some subject areas where recruitment is still relatively difficult.

Entry requirements

For 2014/15 you will need at least a 2.2 honours degree or equivalent, but there is some leeway in the scheme to recognise exceptional achievements. For example, a previous career or experience might be taken into account when it came to awarding the appropriate level of bursary. Read more about the consideration of exceptional achievements.

Physics and maths are the exception to the 2.2 degree cut-off. Trainees with a B or higher at A level in maths or physics and a 'relevant degree' are eligible for a £9,000 bursary.

2014/15 bursaries

Trainees with a first class degree

  • Physics, chemistry or maths – £20,000
  • Computing or modern languages – £20,000
  • Primary maths specialist – £11,000 (with at least a B at maths A level)
  • Other priority subjects and secondary or primary level – £9,000.
Trainees with a 2.1
  • Physics, computing or maths – £20,000
  • Chemistry or modern languages – £15,000
  • Primary maths specialist – £11,000 (with at least a B at maths A level)
  • Other priority subjects and secondary or primary level – £4,000.
Trainees with a 2.2
  • Physics, computing or maths – £15,000
  • Modern languages or chemistry – £12,000
  • Primary maths specialist – £6,000 (with at least a B at maths A level)
  • Other priority subjects and secondary or primary level – £0.

The other priority subjects are currently design and technology, English, history, biology, geography, and music.

School Direct bursaries - an additional payment
An extra 25% is available in addition to the standard bursary, if the eligible trainee is in a school where 35% of the school's pupils are eligible to receive free school meals.

2014/15 scholarships for physics, maths, computing and chemistry

The number of scholarships offered by specialist bodies for physics, maths, computing and chemistry has increased by 230 places for 2014/15.

Successful applicants will enjoy a 25% increase on last year's scholarships (worth £25,000 for 2014/15) and a large helping of extra benefits including society membership, access to resources, mentoring and network links to industry.

The societies offering the scholarship and mentoring awards are the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Mathematics and its Application and the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to graduates with a 2.1 or first in the subject.

School Direct training programme (salaried)

Those with three years' experience they can bring to teaching (not necessarily in education) might also consider the School Direct training programme (salaried) option.

The salaried route covers the cost of the qualified teacher status award and pays a salary comparable with the pay scale for unqualified teachers (or the advertised rate at an academy).

Find out more about the unqualified teacher pay scale.


Related information