Chaos over repayment of teachers' student loans

14th January 2005 at 00:00
Too many trainees are leaving the profession after only a few years. reports Dorothy Lepkowska

A scheme to repay the students loans of newly qualified teachers working in shortage subjects has been thrown into confusion over the time-scales for applications, writes Dorothy Lepkowska.

Some NQTs who began full-time jobs in September found they missed the November deadline for applications if their schools had technically employed and paid them over the summer. Those who were paid from September 1, 2004, have until next November to apply for the repayment of teachers'

loans (RTL) scheme.

The deadlines have caught hundreds of teachers off-guard because it is not clear in the guidelines that teachers hired and paid before September 1 fall into the previous year's time-table for payments.

New teachers have also complained that forms and paperwork have been lost, delaying the processing of applications.

One teacher, whose local authority operates a six-term year, meaning that the autumn term begins in August, was caught out in the confusion. "I phoned the helpline and was told that the deadline for me was 30 November 2004," he told The TES website, "and, whilst this was not flexible, they said they would probably look at applications after this date."

Another correspondent said: "The student loans company keep losing my paperwork. They have given me a deadline in January to return the paperwork I returned in November, but seem reluctant to issue any new paperwork for me to complete. I get comments like 'We'll have a look around to see if it turn up first'."

Sara Bubb, the TES induction expert, said: "The system does seem to be in complete confusion. It is also unclear when this scheme will actually end.

At the moment it seems it will be in 2005.

"It has also disadvantaged those who have scrimped and saved not to borrow money, who will receive nothing. The RTL has encouraged a loans'


No one from the Department for Education and Skills or the Student Loans Company was available for comment over the holiday season.

Further details and an explanation of the RTL scheme can be found at

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today