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Changes to initial teacher training funding
24

SansaSnark · 06/10/2019 14:13

Hey all,

Just wondering what people thought about the changes to bursaries and bursary structure. Details are available here: www.gov.uk/guidance/funding-initial-teacher-training-itt-academic-year-2020-to-2021

I think the big headline change is early career payments for maths, chemistry, physics and langauages. Details here: www.gov.uk/guidance/mathematics-early-career-payments-guidance-for-teachers-and-schools. From next year, teachers in these subjects will get an extra £2000 in their second, third and fourth year of teaching, or £3000 if they are in certain areas of the country.

I think this is good in that it's looking at retention as well as just getting people onto PGCEs, but I'm not sure if it's enough of a move in this direction, and I'm interested to know how experienced teachers of 10 years + feel about this?

In terms of bursaries, geography has gone right down- which I think makes a bit of sense as it's not a core subject. English has gone down, which surprises me, as I know a lot of people thought £15.000 was already too low for English. DT has gone up to £15,000 and art and design will receive a bursary for the first time. Classics still attracts £26,000 despite not being a subject taught in most state schools.

For interest, you can see 2018 recruitment figures here: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/759716/ITT_Census_2018_to_2019_main_text.pdf

You can see why they've put the bursary up for DT- only 33% of the PGCE students needed were recruited last year!

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Sotiredofthislife · 06/10/2019 16:34

I like the idea of retention payments - I have always felt the big bursaries attract a significant number of career changers who aren’t necessarily sure they want to change career. I mentored someone a few years ago who was in it for the cash. He was quite open about it. I would give smaller up front payments and then something every couple of years to 10 years and I would reward again at 15 years.

I assume bursaries reflect current need so don’t feel I can comment. Classics is a mystery. Perhaps there is a plan to have all state schools teach Latin within the next 10 years.

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noblegiraffe · 06/10/2019 17:23

I notice postgraduate teaching apprenticeships on there. If you do schools direct in, say, maths, you get £19,000, but if you do a maths apprenticeship you get £14,500. What?

Also, if you want to train to teach, it’s all a bit complicated, isn’t it? Teach First, Schools Direct, Apprenticeship, PGCE...

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noblegiraffe · 06/10/2019 17:26

Just spotted the big change in retention payments - last year the maths bursary was £20k and the retention payments made up the rest of the bursary.

This year the bursary is back to £26k for maths and the retention payments are on top of that.

Maths teacher recruitment numbers were down this year so they obviously realised that not paying a large whack upfront was putting people off. Duh.

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namechangedyetagain · 06/10/2019 17:35

I'm hoping to apply for 2020 - well if I can ever get the bloody personal statement written. I didn't even know that primary maths attracted a bursary until the other day, thought it was just secondary. Im not even that sure that it would be enough to persuade someone to teach. You don't really go into teaching for the money do you? Shock

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Piggywaspushed · 06/10/2019 18:26

I can't believe English is being shafted like this : my experience suggests there is a big recruitment and retention issue in English. looking forward, number taking English A level and English degrees are in decline. Not sure this makes sense!

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minimomtogiants · 06/10/2019 18:28

I think they'd do better to look at teacher retention and getting people through the PGCE - the work load is savage during the PGCE.

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noblegiraffe · 06/10/2019 18:32

Retention payments for current teachers please! They can’t argue that they’re not needed!

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noblegiraffe · 06/10/2019 18:35

Piggy if they’ve got an English degree but maths A-level they’re also likely to be poached to train to teach maths.

The Classics bursary is bonkers, they all immediately leave for the private sector - we did that thread though.

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Piggywaspushed · 06/10/2019 18:37

We did bunfight

If I had my time again, with my English degree (with its German literature module!) and two MFL A Levels , I would probably train to teach languages. I am not materialistic but the difference is huge!

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Piggywaspushed · 06/10/2019 18:39

It is also interesting that biology still receives 26k, despite being the 'easiest to recruit' subject! (At least last year...)

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noblegiraffe · 06/10/2019 21:55

Ah but it’s STEM, Piggy and thus more important Wink

Also, I guess if they over-recruit on biology teachers then that makes up slightly for the massive under-recruitment of physics teachers as they can strong-arm them into teaching ‘science’ at KS4 as well as KS3?

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Teachermaths · 06/10/2019 21:56

The retention payments are interesting. Quite annoying if you're an NQT and the person who trains this year will have a better salary than you for the next 3 years.

What about retaining experienced members of staff?!

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Piggywaspushed · 06/10/2019 21:57

I guess that's what it is. Recruit biology teachers and make them teach maths and chemistry! I suppose if they had biology worth less, those scientists would desert.

Am also guessing teaching is a touch more appealing to biologists as I believe biology is the least highest paid science degree outside of teaching (more women, you see...)

I actually have Higher Biology! Maybe I should retrain....

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noblegiraffe · 06/10/2019 22:23

It’s annoying as a part time teacher of 14 years to have a student teacher who is on more money and fewer lessons than you!

It used to be that to train as a maths teacher you had to have a degree with a particular proportion of it being maths (so psychology/economics would do), but now they seem to accept any degree to become a maths teacher so long as you have A-level and do a SKE.

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CatAndFiddle · 07/10/2019 09:22

Nail on the head with Biology.

We have a large faculty and 60% of us are Biologists. Everyone teaches everything. So, the retention payments for chemistry and physics are particularly annoying. In a large 11 to 16 comp, where it is impossible to timetable to suit your specialism, those with physics and chemistry degrees will be paid more for doing the same mix bag of teaching. I am teaching triple physics, a qualification I do not have myself (only dual award was available in my crappy comp)....whilst I know that there are teachers in other faculties who have a levels in physics, and degrees in engineering.

This is the main reason why I am trying to leave for the indie sector.

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fedup21 · 07/10/2019 12:32

Retention payments for current teachers please! They can’t argue that they’re not needed!

Exactly!

I wonder if the only reason the retention payments are in years 2/3/4 are so that they can try to get rid of that ‘4/5 teachers (or whatever it is now) quit within the first 5 years’ label!

They don’t care much last 5 years!

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fedup21 · 07/10/2019 12:32

Past, not last.

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SansaSnark · 07/10/2019 18:32

FWIW I totally agree there should be retention payments for current teachers as well- maybe something every five years, paid retrospectively for all current teachers?

I guess reasons I can see for the biology bursary currently being so high:
-STEM bias.
-Makes up for the shortage of chemistry and physics teachers (I trained in biology, but teach all 3 to KS4, and this is seen as the norm in most schools).
-One year of over-recruitment doesn't necessarily make up the shortfall in recruitment over the last couple of years.

I do also sort of feel that any science retention payments should be equally applied to all 3 sciences if you are teaching all 3 sciences.

Biology grads are on average lower paid, and jobs in some sectors (e.g. ecology) can be quite unstable/lots of short term contracts. There are also possibly more degrees that qualify you to teach biology (e.g. zoology, pharmacy etc) compared to physics and chemistry. But when the bursary was only £12k, they were still struggling to recruit biologists AFAIK.

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phlebasconsidered · 07/10/2019 21:48

Yeah. Bribery might work.
Probably better seeing why experienced staff are leaving or being forced out in the first instance, though before you bribe new entrants.

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noblegiraffe · 08/10/2019 16:29

Art teachers complain about inflated retention payments for other subject teachers and claim they won’t work:

www.tes.com/news/art-teachers-condemn-maths-and-science-retention-cash

Tbh they have a point, it’s not the money in teaching that causes people to leave (although it might tempt them to join).

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SansaSnark · 08/10/2019 18:54

Not sure how I feel about the Art teacher's article, to be honest. The NQT process is changing next year anyway, and they don't really suggest any concrete alternatives.

I think bursaries and retention payments are really just papering over the cracks anyway, rather than solving the systemic problems.

However, there's clearly some subjects which are really struggling to recruit and retain teachers for whatever reason, and so I do think there have to be some subject specific solutions, as well as general ones. If you're a Fine Art grad- teaching is probably one of the more lucrative and stable career options available to you. Whereas, if you're a chemistry grad, there are lots of options available, so teaching has to do something else to compete.

I know it's more complicated than that, but I do think it is one part of the recruitment problem.

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Piggywaspushed · 08/10/2019 19:01

But there must be some people who actively want to be teachers, chemists included! This is what I don't get. You don't (necessarily) just go into teaching because that is your least worst option. I always wanted to be a teacher. I can't be the only one....

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CatAndFiddle · 09/10/2019 06:25

There was some research recently that suggested that millennials are more interested in pursuing a portfolio of careers throughout their life. So it does make sense that you might look elsewhere when you find yourself working 60 hours a week for £28k in your RQT year.
The government have long relied upon people's intrinsic motivation to become teachers. There just aren't enough people who are intrinsically motivated like this anymore.
You can see this sort of attitude with the kids. The amount of 6th formers who tell me they want to become a doctor for the status and the money is very telling (and they do get onto the courses...).

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SansaSnark · 09/10/2019 18:02

@Piggywaspushed I agree that you do get people who actively want to be teachers- I actually trained with a few physics grads who very much wanted to teach and share their passion for their subject.

But I think people go into teaching across all subjects for all sorts of reasons and I did train with some arts/humanities grads who had looked at teaching because it would allow them to use their degree subject in every day life (rather than just their "transferable skills"). Science grads seem to have more options in terms of jobs that will actively allow them to use their degree on a daily basis.

Some physicists/chemists definitely want to teach for the sake of teaching. Unfortunately, countrywide, there's not enough of them for every school to have specialist physics and chemistry teachers.

I think the bursaries/retention payments serve a purpose in that they get people to look at teaching and seriously consider it when they otherwise might not have thought about it. And then some of those people do make an active choice to teach because they have realised that they want to and can do so whilst being paid to train.

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