Bursaries for trainee primary teachers to be slashed next year

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Cuts to bursaries for trainee primary teachers in England has created fears that there could be a teacher recruitment crisis looming, with some bursaries dropping in value by two thirds by 2016, reports the BBC.

The changes could affect more than half of trainee primary teachers, who use the bursaries for living expenses or to offset some of the £9,000 tuition fees for trainee teachers on university courses. They can be paid to trainees on both university and school based training schemes that do not carry a salary.

Bursaries for primary trainees with 2:1 degrees or master's qualifications will fall from £4,000 this year to £3,000 in 2016.

This year primary maths trainees with 2:2 degrees or better were offered a £12,000 bursary. Next year this will fall to £6,000.

For primary maths trainees with degrees lower than a 2:2 the bursary will be cut from £9,000 to £3,000.

Nearly half of primary teacher trainees who started their courses in September 2014 received a bursary - some 8,900 trainees.

"The reduction of bursaries could mean it is not attractive for people to train to teach," said Lizana Oberholzer of the National Association of School Based Teacher Trainers. In particular she warned national figures, which show there are enough primary teachers this year, often hide local shortages.

"We are worried we won't be able to recruit high quality teacher trainees without the incentive of high value bursaries in future," she said.

Professional Development Today
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