No one comes into teaching for the money, but there are some financial incentives for teachers in England and Wales that you should claim if you can. Keep them in mind when deciding what sort of school you want to work in. There are three sorts of financial incentives: training bursaries, Golden Hellos and repayment of student loans.
If you do a PGCE in England or Wales, you automatically get the pound;6,000 training bursary. Your training institution pays this to you, usually from October in nine or ten lots. Undergraduates don't get it, and neither do those on the graduate teacher programme.
You are eligible for a pound;4,000 Golden Hello if you are doing a PGCE in certain subjects (see table, right). It is paid by the Department for Education and Skills. You can only claim the money from your local education authority in the term after you've successfully completed induction, and if you are still teaching the shortage subject that you trained for in a maintained school.
City Technology Colleges (CTCs) and City Academies are not classed as maintained schools. Some schools and LEAs give their own incentives to tempt people to work for them. These are also Sometimes called Golden Hellos, so don't confuse the two.
If you teach certain subjects (see table, left) for at least half of your teaching time in a normal week, and you got qualified teacher status through any route after February 1, 2002, the loans taken out with the Student Loans Company will be paid off. This will take place over 10 years for full-time teachers with income-contingent loans, or around five to seven years for those with older mortgage-style loans.
It is open to people who get jobs within seven months of getting qualified teacher status in maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, CTCs, City Colleges for the Technology of the Arts and City Academies.
In this respect, repayment of teacher loans is much fairer than the Golden Hello, which is limited to those with PGCEs and excludes people in CTCs and city academies. The only people who are excluded are those working in independent schools. There are even deals for people in FE.
Primary teachers are only eligible if they teach shortage subjects to classes other than their own and do so for half the week. But few primary schools are organised in that way. However, I do know one person who has a Year 5 class and teaches Year 5 and 6 sets in English, maths and science every morning. She will therefore get her pound;17,000 loan repaid as long as she continues to work in a setting that organises teaching in that way.
Those of you teaching primary or secondary geography, history, RE, PE, music or art are probably feeling sick about that. First, no Golden Hello, and now no loans repaid. Pretty demotivating stuff, especially if you work harder than those getting the goodies. It's not fair but I guess Whitehall isn't trying to be. Its aim is to recruit for shortage subjects and tempt people with certain degrees into teaching rather than industry or finance.
Teachers who trained in Scotland or Northern Ireland won't get training bursaries or Golden Hellos - but they are eligible for loan repayment.
For more information, see the Teacher Training Agency website www.canteach.gov.uk or ring the Teaching Information Line on 0845 6000 991 or Student Loans Company on 0870 24 222 11