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to wonder whether it'll be financially viable for my husband to retrain

(9 Posts)
WidowWadman Thu 09-Jun-11 15:49:13

Been looking at calculators and forms all day, and now our heads hurt and we're not really any wiser...

Currently I'm on mat leave with second sprog, husband's contract was terminated at the end of april. He's been dreaming of doing a pgce for ages, but always found reasons not to go for it, mostly that we can't afford it. However, losing a job he didn't overly love made him look again at this.

I'm happy to support him going for this even if it means tightening our belts quite a bit, but I'm worried we won't be able to afford it even then.

Once I'm going back to work we're facing roughly £1000pm in childcare (2 children full time, cost includes nappies and meals), and between £200-250pm travel costs for my commute. If I add the two together, I've got about £30 left from my take home pay, but no bills or rent paid yet (we're renting privately).

Looking at entitled.to etc doesn't seem to give straight answers, and it's quite difficult filling that form in, especially as my income changes due to company maternity pay, which will at later stage be reduced to SMP.

I understand he'd get some maintenance loan or bursary, but not enough to cover all outgoings.

How likely is it that we're entitled to enough support for him to go back to uni? O who can we talk to work through our finances so we get a better idea? Unfortunately we don't have family nearby who can help out with the childcare, so we can't save on that cost.

Please don't flame me.

LindyHemming Thu 09-Jun-11 15:59:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WidowWadman Thu 09-Jun-11 17:02:07

Just braced myself, as it's a benefits question, and they sometimes get nasty...

Thanks for the link - the GTP is something he looked at, but thinks if he had a chance at getting into it at all, then probably not before 2012. The closing date for the PGCE course is at the end of the month, and there are still spaces. I guess we left it a bit close again.

vj32 Thu 09-Jun-11 18:40:59

Well, doing a standard full time PGCE you get the same loans and maintenance as a first year undergraduate. This will be based on your income for the previous complete tax year. You can find out loans etc on direct.gov and PGCE bursaries on TDA website. Amount of PGCE bursary varies by subject, plus he might get a bursary direct from the uni - this based on your income assessment from the student loans company and amount and who it is paid to varies between unis.

You can claim single person discount on council tax (assuming you are the only other adult in the house). 25% discount.

Don't forget he can get a student bank account with an interest free overdraft - some banks may not give PGCErs a student account but some do - Halifax does.

But - before that, has your husband checked that their are jobs in his subject/age range in your area? Or are you prepared to move? In some subjects there are very few jobs in certain areas of the country - other jobs like There are quite a lot of expenses with a PGCE - primarily travel costs. You DH will have to pay travel to uni and to two or more placements. The uni will not help with these costs unless they are exceptional. He will also probably need a good laptop. You will also need to know that it is incredibly time consuming, and it is unlikely that he will receive extra pay for previous work experience - almost all new teachers start on M1 - about £21k, which will then be reduced by large teacher pension contributions and student loan repayments. Most career changers take a considerable pay cut.

redexpat Thu 09-Jun-11 21:20:04

Re: the closing date. He's a man. They usually get in, including after the application date.

Check that there are jobs available when he's finished. Also gear up for a tough year together. I have never seen such tired people as PGCEers.

If you have space and inclination could you get an au pair for the kids? Might work out cheaper.

WidowWadman Thu 09-Jun-11 21:28:10

Thanks for the replies - he looked at whether there are jobs in that subject (he wants to do biology) and it didn't look too bad.

Au Pair is not really an option, we hardly have the space for the 4 of us.

We're not worried about a tough year - we've had those in the past, the main worry is whether we can afford it - I'm out of the house 10 hours a day when working (including commute), so really need fulltime childcare.

Having no real experience with claiming benefits, it just seems so difficult to find out what our budget would be, which is what makes me so uneasy.

WidowWadman Fri 10-Jun-11 10:46:19

Great, after talking to a benefits adviser apparently I'm earning too much for us to get anything. I'm not even earning enough to cover half our outgoings when returning to work, so basically the retraining bubble is well and tuly burst, and if he doesn't find a job which pays at least as much as his old one pdq, the only other option is for him to be a SAHD so we don't have the childcare cost with which we wouldn't get help, because we're allegedly too well off.

So how is this "people should always be better off working than being at home" thing working?

Terrified now.

clemetteattlee Fri 10-Jun-11 10:54:09

There are GTP secondary paces available at Nottingham Trent for starting this September in the shortage subjects (maths/science etc) so it might be worth him contacting your local university...

whosthatlady Fri 10-Jun-11 11:27:02

I do feel for you and your husband. I recently re-trained as a nurse but was very lucky to have a partner who was able to support me financially - you get tuition fees paid and can get a bursary but as you say its all the childcare costs! I do hope you can work something out. At least if he becomes a teacher you should have child-care in school holidays sorted!

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