Science and MFL NQTs to get £9K to keep teaching

DfE announces retention payments for NQTs in shortage subjects in 39 high-need areas in England – on top of £26K training bursaries

£35K training deal

Newly qualified teachers in maths, science and languages who work in “high needs” areas of the country are to receive payments of £9,000 on top of their salaries, the Department for Education has announced today.

The retention payments are being paid for the first time ever to new teachers in chemistry and physics as well as modern foreign languages – last year, they were paid only to maths teachers – as the DfE attempts to address teacher recruitment and retention issues.

Trainee teachers in these subjects are also receiving bursaries of £26,000 for their initial teacher training year, compared to trainees in other subjects who are on, for example, £15,000 in geography and £12,000 in English, while trainees in subjects such as PE and drama receive nothing at all.


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The retention payment of £9,000 will bring the total training package for the new teachers to £35,000 – on top of salaries – in 39 high-needs areas of the country in the north and Midlands (see below). In other areas, retention payments will be £6,000, and also paid over three years.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I want both the brightest and the best talent to be drawn to the teaching profession and for schools to compete with the biggest employers in the labour market.

“The bursaries we are announcing today, along with the 2.75% pay rise for all teachers and school leaders this academic year, will do just that, while ensuring that those who stay in the classroom will benefit most.”

Last month education secretary Gavin Williamson announced that starting salaries for NQTs would rise by around £6,000 to £30,000 in 2022/23, and he announced that the pay of teachers higher up the pay scale would be levelled up. 

Also for the first time, trainee teachers in art and business studies will receive bursaries of £9,000 for their initial teacher training year, the DfE said today, whereas last year they received nothing.

Last year maths teachers received retention payments of £15,000 in high needs areas, however their bursaries were less – at £20,000.

A DfE spokesperson said bursary amounts can change year-by-year. He said: “Changes to bursary amounts may mean that trainees starting one year may receive a lower incentive when compared with trainees starting another year. However, being able to change the incentive amounts provides flexibility to respond to recruitment need and other government priorities.”

The high needs areas are Barnsley, Blackpool, Bracknell Forest, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Dudley, East Riding of Yorkshire, Halton, Isle of Wight, Kingston Upon Hull, City of Kirklees, Knowsley, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, North Lincolnshire, Northumberland, Nottingham, Oldham, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Reading, Rochdale, Salford, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield, St. Helens, Stoke-on-Trent, Swindon, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warrington, Wolverhampton.

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