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Agency provides help where it's needed most;Letter

Just to ensure that Bryce Wilby's letter (TES, Letters, March 27) does not lead to any confusion or misunderstanding.

Part of the Teacher Training Agency's package of measures to attract candidates into teaching is the pound;10 million secondary subject shortage scheme which will replace the priority subject recruitment scheme from September 1988. All candidates studying the shortage subjects (for example maths or science) are eligible to apply for assistance. The difference between the schemes is that, under the scheme, only those who need financial assistance, and who can demonstrate that without it, they would not be able to pursue or continue teacher training, are eligible for funding, whereas the old bursaries were often paid out to all trainees regardless of need.

That improvement should result in providers of initial teacher training being able to target funding at those trainees who need it most. Those decisions are for individual providers to make on the basis of who needs the support most.

The scheme has been very favourably received by providers and we believe the scheme will play a critical role in getting more trainees into the profession.

JANE BENHAM, Head of Teacher Supply and Recruitment, Teacher Training Agency, Portland House, Stag Place, London SW1

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