Q: I am thinking about buying a house. I've been told I can apply for the key worker living fund which helps with pound;50,000 of your mortgage. I've looked on their website - apparently it works in stages so if you are on fast track (which I'm not) you have a certain amount of points, and the more you have, the greater your chance of being accepted. The woman at the recruitment fair led me to believe that because I'm an ordinary NQT I would be bottom of the list. Is this true?
A: There is a limited amount of money available for the key worker living fund, which was created after the staffing crisis of 2001 in order to help key workers, such as teachers, live in the most expensive parts of the country. As the fund cannot satisfy all the demands made on it, there has to be prioritisation of the monies available. Sadly, there is an increasing problem recruiting senior staff into London and the South East, but less of a problem with NQTs since recruitment into teaching has picked up and more training places have been allocated to London. Also, the rental market in parts of London is weak, and many young teachers prefer to rent for the first couple of years rather than taking on a mortgage. For these reasons you may be at the end of the queue.