To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 March 2022 to Question 132346 on Teachers: Training, what steps his Department plans to take to help ensure that the 2021-22 geography trainee teacher cohort is not financially disadvantaged compared with their counterparts in other years following the reinstatement of the geography teacher bursary.
21 March 2022
The bursaries we offer are designed to incentivise more applications to initial teacher training (ITT) courses. As such, they are provided for the phases and subjects which have previously struggled to attract sufficient applicants. Being able to change bursary amounts gives us the flexibility to respond to the need to attract new teachers, and means we are spending money where it is needed most.
In the academic year 2020/21, we exceeded the geography postgraduate ITT target (achieving 129% of the target). The bursaries we offered for academic year 2021/22 took account of this and the continuing boost to ITT recruitment caused by the economic impact of COVID-19.
We announced the bursaries available for academic year 2021/22 on 12 October 2020, the same day that applications opened for ITT courses starting in 2021/22. This information was published on GOV.UK and promoted to applicants through our Get Into Teaching service, to ensure applicants were made aware of the financial offer before applying. As bursaries are designed to incentivise applications it would not be appropriate, or a judicious use of public money, to retrospectively award them to trainees who were not eligible when they applied.