Funding for teacher training

Funding for teacher training

You may be eligible to receive financial support in the form of a bursary or scholarship to help fund your training. Your eligibility and how much you will receive depend on a range of factors, including:

  • your class of degree (to be eligible for a bursary or scholarship, you'll need a first, 2.1 or 2.2)
  • the subject you wish to study.

If you're not eligible for a bursary or scholarship, you can apply for a loan to cover tuition fees (for unsalaried teacher training routes). You may also be eligible for a maintenance loan to help with living expenses, such as rent, food and travel, while you're studying. These will need to be paid back once you earn over £21,000.

This section covers funding in England. For information on funding in other parts of the UK see our advice on training to teach in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Bursaries for shortage subjects

Non-repayable bursaries are available for trainee teachers on some full and part-time primary and secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses, school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) schemes and non-salaried School Direct programmes. The amount you receive depends on the subject you plan to teach and degree class.

The bursaries for teacher training courses starting in 2017 are as follows:

  • Graduates with a 2.1 or above who are training to teach physics can apply for scholarships of £30,000. Those who are training to teach maths, chemistry, computing, geography or languages (French, German or Spanish) with a 2.1 or above can apply for scholarships of £27,500. Graduates who do not have a 2.1 or above may still be considered if they have significant relevant experience. For the students selected, scholarships are paid instead of bursaries.
  • Graduates training to teach physics can access bursaries of £30,000 if they have a first or PhD, or £25,000 if they have a 2.1, 2.2 or masters. 
  • Graduates training to teach maths, computing, geography, languages (includes other modern or community languages in addition to French, German and Spanish) or classics (where the course is an ancient language - Latin or Ancient Greek) can access bursaries of £25,000 if they have a 2.2 or above, or a masters or a PhD.
  • Graduates training to teach chemistry can access bursaries of £25,000 if they have a first or PhD, or £20,000 if they have a 2.1, 2.2 or masters.
  • Graduates training to teach biology can access bursaries of £15,000 if they have a first or PhD, £12,000 if they have a 2.1 or masters, or £10,000 if they have a 2.2.
  • Graduates training to teach design and technology can access bursaries of £12,000 if they have a first or PhD or £9,000 if they have a 2.1 or masters.
  • Graduates training to teach English can get bursaries of £9,000 if they have a first or PhD, a 2.1 or masters.
  • Graduates training to teach history, music or RE can get bursaries of £9,000 if they have a first or PhD or £4,000 if they have a 2.1 or masters.
  • Graduates training on a primary maths specialist course or primary general (with maths) course can get bursaries of £6,000 if they have a 2.2 or higher. In all cases at least a B in A level maths (or equivalent) is also needed.
  • Graduates training to teach primary can get bursaries of £3,000 if they have a first or PhD.

Loans and grants to cover tuition fees and maintenance

Tuition fees have to be paid for postgraduate ITT courses and the amount of these will vary depending on the course and institution. Home and EU students on full-time and part-time courses may be eligible for a loan to cover tuition fees. This will not have to be repaid until you're working and earning over £21,000 a year.

Home students may also be able to apply for a student maintenance loan to help with accommodation and living costs.

Other support is available for certain groups of students, for example, students with disabilities and students with dependent children. If you're in financial hardship, you may also be eligible for help from your university. The student services department will be able to advise you about the support available.

Funding for early years initial teacher training

For those starting the main graduate entry training in 2017, the following funding is available:

  • A grant of £7,000 to cover course fees for all graduates.
  • A bursary of up to £5,000 for those with a first, £4,000 for those with a 2.1 and £2,000 for those with a 2.2.

Funding for training to work in FE

Tuition fee loans from Student Finance England are available to both full-time and part-time trainees (if the trainee meets the required criteria) for PGCE programmes accredited by a higher education institution. Full-time students may also apply for maintenance loans. Loan support may be available for level 5 programmes accredited by other awarding organisations – contact your chosen provider for further information.

Bursaries are available for graduates taking an ITT programme in maths and English before starting work as a further education lecturer. For 2016/17, the maximum bursary available is £25,000 for maths graduates with a first class degree, 2.1 or 2.2. Those with a third class degree can get a £9,000 bursary if they also hold a maths A level at B grade.

For trainee English teachers, a £9,000 bursary is available to those with a first class degree and a bursary of £4,000 to those with a 2:2.  Bursary funding is limited – providers allocate bursaries to qualifying trainees on a first come first served basis and once the funding is used up, no more will be made available.

Written by Pat Carmody, Canterbury Christ Church University