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What are my funding options?

Explore the different funding options available for PGCE study
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Deciding how to fund your Initial Teacher Training (ITT) is an important early step in your teaching journey. So, how much will it cost and what are your options?

According to Prospects, the standard tuition fee for a PGCE in 2019/20 was £9,250 (Swain, 2019), but the cost of training can vary year-on-year and across providers. NSET fees, for example, range from £4,000 to £7,500 depending on your chosen training route.

Whichever ITT provider you choose, there may be several ways that you can fund your training, whether in part or in full. That being said, different subjects attract different amounts of funding and, in most cases, your eligibility will vary, so let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer.

Please note that training amounts can vary year-from-year, so it is important to check whether the funding amounts for your chosen route when are ready to consider applying for your PGCE.

PGCE apprenticeship levy (up to £9,000)

The apprenticeship levy is a tax on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships. Most schools are apprenticeship levy payers, which means they could claim up to £9,000 towards Initial Teacher Training with an approved provider.

So, if you already work as an unqualified teacher or teaching assistant, your school may be able to help cover the cost of your tuition fees. This route also allows you to continue earning a salary as you train.

Speak to your employer. If you are interested in training with NSET, they can enquire about becoming a partner school.

Student finance

If you accept a place on a non-salaried PGCE course, known as a tuition-fee place, you can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of your training, and a maintenance loan to help with your living costs while you train.

To learn more, see the tuition fee and maintenance loans guidance from the Department for Education (DfE).

Bursaries (up to £26,000)

If you are seeking Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and are not currently employed as a teacher, you could receive a tax-free bursary of up to £26,000.

There are a list of subjects for which bursaries are available for training to teach in England. Please note the list of subjects and amounts can change year-on-year, so it is important to check this when are ready to consider applying for your PGCE.

As of September 2020, priority subjects that attract the highest value bursaries include computing, languages, mathematics and science (biology, chemistry and physics).

Bursaries are also available for additional subjects, however the list of subjects and amounts available to change year-on-year. The new list for academic year 21/22 for England will be available from October 2020.

In any case, you do not need to apply for a bursary. If you meet the eligibility criteria, your training provider will ensure that you start receiving the appropriate funds once your training begins. To learn more, see the bursary guidance from the DfE.

Scholarships (up to £28,000)

If you feel you have what it takes to be an exceptional teacher of either IT, chemistry, geography, languages, mathematics or physics, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship with one of the following awarding bodies:

The application window will vary across the board and competition will be stiff, so get in early and put your best foot forward.

Please also note that the list of subjects and amounts available for scholarships are also subject to change.

Further financial support

Whichever funding route you take, make the most of any additional financial support that may be available during your training. This could be in addition to student finance which is applicable to tuition-fee students (see Student Finance section above).

  • Full-time trainees with children or adult dependents
    • If you’re a parent planning to train for your PGCE full-time, you may be eligible for the Parents’ Learning Allowance or a Childcare Grant.
    • If an adult depends on you financially and you won’t be receiving a postgraduate loan, you can apply for an Adult Dependants’ Grant.
  • Trainees with learning difficulties, health problems or disabilities
    • If you live with a long-term illness or disability, you can apply for disabled students’ allowances to help with the disability-related costs of studying.

What do you think?

Why do you think some subjects attract more funding than others? Has this influenced your decision of which stage or subject to teach?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

References

Swain, R. (2019). PGCE. Prospects. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/teacher-training-and-education/pgce

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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