Ask TES Institute: Funding your subject knowledge enhancement course

Ask TES Institute: Funding your subject knowledge enhancement course

Once you have chosen the right teacher training route and submitted your application, you may be asked to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course as a condition of a place on your teacher training programme. If you are, you will be eligible for course funding and potentially an additional bursary too. In this blog post we breakdown the key things that you need to know about SKE funding.

What teaching subjects are eligible for Government funding?

The National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) has set aside funding for subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses for School Direct and Initial Teacher Training trainees who want to teach Biology, Computing, Chemistry, Geography, Maths, Modern Languages and Physics. Funding has been confirmed until September 2017 and is available so long as you have an offer for a place on a teacher training course with a condition to complete an SKE course.

How do I know whether I am eligible to have my SKE course fees covered?

If your provider makes you a conditional offer of entry that asks you to complete an SKE course then you will be eligible to have your SKE course fees covered, meaning that there will be no cost to you or your provider to complete an SKE course. Your SKE subject must be the same as the subject that you are training to teach in, with the exception of Modern Languages where you can choose a language different to the one that you are teaching.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive an additional SKE bursary?

In addition to course funding, eligible applicants can also receive a tax-free bursary during their course. To receive the SKE training bursary you must hold or be studying for an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification of a 2:2 or above, although trainee teachers of Maths and Physics can access an SKE bursary with a 3rd class degree as long as they hold an A-Level at B grade or above in that subject. If you are in the process of studying for your degree or the score has yet to be confirmed prior to your SKE course starting, your course fees will still be covered but you would not be eligible to start receiving bursary until you have contacted TES Institute to confirm your degree score. Once you have done this we will arrange for any bursary that you are owed until that point to be paid to you in lieu.

How much bursary will I receive and how regular are the payments?

You can receive the equivalent of up to £115 per week, although the total amount of bursary will depend on the length of the course that you choose. TES Institute will pay your SKE bursary to you in monthly instalments, with payments being made nearer to the end of the month and the first bursary payment is made one month in arrears of your course start. TES Institute’s finance team will contact you in the first month of your SKE course to collect your details and arrange payment of your bursary.

Will the SKE bursary affect any funding that I am eligible to receive for my Initial Teacher Training course?

Funding for teacher training and SKE are separate and will not affect each other unless your SKE and ITT programmes overlap. In this instance your SKE course fees will still be funded but during the overlap period your SKE bursary will stop as you have started receiving your ITT bursary, and under NCTL funding rules you cannot receive two sets of bursary at the same time.

Would I ever be required to pay any money back if I wasn’t able to complete the SKE course?

In the event that you cannot complete your SKE course or need to withdraw you will not incur any charges or be asked to pay any money back that you have previously received, but your funding will be stopped from that point and your training provider will be informed. Please note that if you do withdraw from an SKE course you will not be eligible to receive funding for another SKE after this point.

How do I claim funding for SKE?

Once you have applied for a place on one of our SKE courses, TES Institute will handle the rest of the administration for both you and your ITT provider. When you apply for the SKE course we will contact your provider to confirm your offer of a training place and once they respond we will email you an offer letter for a place on the SKE course and contact the NCTL on your behalf to claim any funding that you are eligible to receive.

How can I apply for an SKE course?

If you have a conditional offer of entry and need to apply for an SKE course you can express your interest on our website and one of the TES Institute enrolment team will contact you to answer any questions you have on the course and send you a link to the online application form. Alternatively you can call our offices on 0203 194 3200 or email for further information.

If you have a question about SKE that isn’t answered here, one of our enrolment advisors will be happy to help.