'Big drop-off' in entrants predicted after bursary axe

25th February 2011 at 00:00

The axing of bursaries for most trainee teachers will "turn off the taps" of new entrants to the profession, unions and academics have warned.

Universities are "very worried" about education secretary Michael Gove's decision to withdraw financial support for those hoping to enter the classroom.

Mr Gove said the bursaries no longer offered value for money "in this time of fiscal restraint".

Bursaries in religious studies, music, PE, art, business studies, citizenship, history, dance and drama, worth #163;4,000-#163;6,000, have now been axed.

Only those studying physics, chemistry, engineering and maths will now get the full #163;9,000 bursaries. Biology, general science and modern foreign language students will get #163;6,000.

Chris Husbands, director of London University's Institute of Education, said: "Officials have clearly made a decision based on all the funding they have available. But this creates a risk that we might not be able to recruit enough trainees. I'm very worried."

Martin Freedman, head of pay and pensions for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said the decision would "turn off the taps" of new teachers.

"This will create shortages, it's a short-sighted and short-term view," he said.

"With tuition fees trebling, it's likely we will see a big drop-off. Those studying some subjects can earn much more in the private sector, so without a bursary why would they apply for teacher training?"

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now