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FE teacher bursaries attract 1,062 trainees

There is an increasing demand for maths and English teachers in colleges as more students are resitting their GCSE exams

More than 1,000 bursaries have been awarded to train English and maths teachers to teach in colleges

There is an increasing demand for maths and English teachers in colleges as more students are resitting their GCSE exams

More than 1,000 teachers have been recruited to teach English and maths in colleges in the past three years through a bursary programme.

A freedom of information (FOI) request showed that since 2015, 1,062 teachers have been recruited to teach English and maths in colleges through the initial teacher education (ITE) bursary.

The maths ITE attracts a bursary of £25,000 if the trainee has a 2:2 degree or above and the English ITE attracts a bursary of £15,000 if the trainee has a 2:1 class degree or above.

FE initial teacher education (ITE) bursaries

£4.5 million annual budget

For each of the three years, the budget for the programme was £4.5 million, with the total budget spent each year, according to officials. The total £13.5 million budget equates to roughly £12,000 per trainee.

The figures show that in 2017-18 bursaries were awarded to 200 trainee college English teachers and 174 trainee maths teachers.

The English bursaries have attracted a total of 587 trainees – 199 in 2015-16, 188 in 2016-17 and 200 in 2017-18. Meanwhile, the maths bursaries have attracted 475 trainees over three years – 152 in 2015-16, 149 in 2016-17 and 174 in 2017-18.

Analysis of college staffing figures shows there were 20,000 fewer teachers in colleges in 2017 than there were in 2010 and the bursary programme is just one of the schemes currently in place to try and ease the recruitment and retention crisis.

GCSE resits English and maths exam entrants

Condition of funding

There has been a surge in the number of students aged 17 or older taking GCSE English and maths.

In 2014, 100,587 students aged 17 and above sat GCSE maths exams in the summer and 79,045 sat GCSE English. Last June this had jumped to 172,291 taking GCSE maths and 160,672 taking GCSE English.

It is a condition of funding for colleges, sixth forms and schools that students resit these qualifications if they do not have a grade 4 (or C) already. Educational institutions can have their funding cut if they do not meet this requirement. 

Earlier this month the Get Further programme was launched to link former teachers with college students for mentoring to help them pass English and maths

The DfE has been approached for comment.

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