6 Important Changes to Teacher Training for 2018
Posted on 01/05/18 | Posted in Main News
Following a nationwide shortage of qualified teachers, the UK government has taken action and made important changes to the rules at all stages of the process.
This is great news for all the aspirational teachers out there – whether you’re a fresh-faced graduate looking to start your teacher training, or a seasoned industry specialist looking to bring your skills to a new sector, these changes will affect you!
Read on to find out the most important changes…
Initial test re-take limit removed – and first 3 tries are free
The government has listened to feedback on administrative barriers and has not only removed the limit on re-sits for the teacher training entry tests – they’ve made the first three tries free of charge, meaning some applicants could save up to £77. It’s great news for trainees who miss out on a pass by a couple of marks, and reduces the pressure on applicants needing to pass first time.
There’s good news to those who have already applied this year too – if you’ve already paid for tests since 24th October 2017, you should receive an automatic refund.
No more lock-out period
You used to be limited to two re-sits for the teacher training entry tests – after two unsuccessful tries, you would be locked out and unable to take the test again for two years. This lock-out period has now been removed, following feedback from the profession that capable trainees were losing hope in becoming a teacher due to a long period of waiting between re-sits.
Teaching bursaries have increased
Teacher training is one of the few areas of education where bursaries are still available – they can be a lifeline for some students! To help more students take the plunge into teacher training, there have been increases to the current bursaries, as well as the addition of new ones for 2018-19.
- Ex-service personnel who have left the British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy in the last five years are now eligible for a new £40,000 bursary to enable them to re-train as teachers
- Trainees with a 2:2 degree or higher in Physics, Languages, Chemistry, Biology, Computing, Geography and Classics are now eligible for a £26,000 bursary
- Maths trainees are now eligible for a £20,000 bursary – plus two additional early-career payments of £5,000 each (£7,500 for those teaching in areas where teachers are most needed) paid in their third and fifth years of teaching, providing they taught in a state school in England since completing their teacher training
- English trainees with a 2:2 degree or higher are now eligible for a £15,000 bursary
- Design & Technology trainees with a 1st or PhD degree are eligible for a £12,000 bursary - £9,000 for those with a 2:1 or Master’s degree
- History, Music & RE trainees with a 1st or PhD degree are eligible for a £9,000 bursary - £4,000 for those with a 2:1 or Master’s degree
- Primary Maths trainees with a 2:2 degree or higher are eligible for a £6,000 bursary
For more information on the funding support available, visit the Get Into Teaching website.
Some subjects now have scholarships available
The government is trying to attract the best and brightest to the profession, and this year they’re trialling scholarships for the most in-demand subjects.
For 2018-19, the subject scholarships available are:
Successful scholarship candidates will receive £28,000 tax-free (in all subjects except Maths – where they will receive £22,000 tax-free) followed by 2 additional early-career payments of £5,000 each. For those teaching in areas where teachers are most needed, these early-career payments are bolstered up to £7,500 each.
To be eligible, you should have at least a 2:1 degree and want to teach one of the above subjects – those with a 2:2 can still apply but will need to provide evidence of significant relevant experience. For more information on scholarships, visit the Get Into Teaching website.
New Subject Knowledge Enhancement Courses (SKEs) open up your options
If your degree isn’t in the subject you want to teach, that used to be the end of the road – but not anymore! A Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course (SKE) is a new government-funded option that can help you on the road into teaching your chosen subject.
An SKE might be a good choice for you if:
- Your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject, but is closely related
- You studied the subject at A Level, but not at degree level
- You have an unrelated degree, but relevant professional experience in the subject
- It’s been some time since you used your degree knowledge
- You’ve taught before but you want to teach a different subject area
The course length can vary from an eight-week refresher course up to 28 weeks. You could also be eligible for a tax-free SKE bursary of £200 a week – depending on your course length, that could be from £2,400 (for a 12-week course) up to £5,600 (for a 28-week course).
You can currently take an SKE in:
- Design & Technology
- Primary Maths
These courses are held all over the UK at universities, schools, or with other organisations such as training providers. You can complete them before or alongside your teacher training and can be studied full time, part time, classroom-based or online.
To find out who delivers SKEs in your area, visit the Gov.uk website.
UCAS applications now cost just £1
In a move designed to remove administrative barriers to further and higher education, the government has reduced the UCAS application fee from £24 down to a nominal fee of just £1 – if you’ve applied already this academic year, the fee should be automatically refunded to you.