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What the trainees say

Oxford graduate Susie White, 22, taking a PGCE in biology, said: "My debts at the moment are Pounds 4,000 and I have taken out another student loan for this year. It will be Pounds 7,000 by the end of the course.

"While the Pounds 5,000 would have been useful, you should not throw the money at getting people onto the course but at getting them into the profession as a whole and keeping them there. You might fill the course, but the drop-out rate will be quite high."

Nicola Marshall, 21, a fellow Oxford biology graduate: "By the time I finish I will be Pounds 15,000 in debt because I took out four student loans and I am also funding myself through this year by taking out a career development loan of Pounds 9,000.

"I would have grabbed the Pounds 5,000. I think it is a good incentive but it is only a short-term solution. It would be better to add that money on to the salary."

Charles Todd, 44, studied maths at Oxford, attained a PhD at Imperial College, London, and taught in further education for four years. "I am not doing it for the money. The Pounds 5,000 would not influence me. Quality of life and conditions are more important.

"A lot of people here who did maths went into accountancy which is much better paid. The City can be very lucrative."

Adele Willis, 22, a Bristol University maths graduate, is taking a PGCE in Oxford. She is Pounds 6,000 in debt. "I think it's great there is money available, but I don't think that it is going to change many minds. 5,000 spread over three years is not that big an incentive."

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