End of payments worth up to £9k extra for new teachers

Retention payments will not be available to trainees starting their courses in 2021-22, after DfE decision to scrap the scheme

Amy Gibbons

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The government's early-career payment scheme, designed to boost teacher retention, is to be scrapped from next year.

The Department for Education (DfE) told Tes this afternoon that early-career payments will not be available to new teachers starting their training courses in 2021-22.

Teacher trainers have called the decision "premature", as there is "no clear evidence of how retention might play out for the current cohorts of teachers".

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The news comes on the same day that providers expressed dismay at cuts to teacher training bursaries amounting to "about 50 per cent of the previous year's budget".

The government introduced the early-career payments in 2018-19 to encourage teachers in shortage subjects to stay in the profession after qualifying.

They were initially available only to new maths teachers, who were entitled to £5,000 – or £7,500 in high-needs areas – each in their third and fifth years in the job.

The scheme was then adapted, with lower payments, to include maths, physics, chemistry and languages teachers starting postgraduate teacher training in the 2020-21 academic year.

These teachers were entitled to payments of £2,000 each in their second, third and fourth years of teaching – with each payment boosted to £3,000 for those in high-needs areas.

But the department has now said it will be scrapping the scheme from 2021-22.

The DfE said those who started their training up to and including this year will still receive their early-career payments, as planned.

However, there will be no new recipients of the cash from next year.

Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said: "For a number of years, we have been at pains to point out that the teacher retention crisis is perhaps more acute even than the recruitment crisis.

"There is nothing that currently suggests that teacher retention will drastically improve unless concerted efforts continue to be made to make the profession an attractive one in the long term.

"While early-career payments were only one small part of the picture in achieving this, it seems premature to be removing them with no clear evidence of how retention might play out for the current cohorts of teachers."

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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