The TES is reporting that millions of pounds are being slashed from government funding available to trainee primary teachers.
From next year, thousands of trainees will receive thousands of pounds less in bursaries and salaries from the Department for Education than they would have last year. Cash-strapped schools said they would struggle to make up the shortfall, and the cuts are predicted to put people off joining the profession.
TES has calculated that the changes would affect more than half the entire annual cohort of primary teacher trainees, based on 2014-15 figures. They would also impact on some secondary trainees in computing – a subject already hit by shortages.
The unexpected move by the DfE has led to criticism from two government advisers.
Sir Andrew Carter, the primary headteacher who led the coalition government’s review of initial teacher training, said: “The government has to understand that if it is not careful, what will happen is you’ll get a lot of [recruits coming into] secondary schools and primary will be a problem.”
Dame Alison Peacock, a member of the government’s Commission on Assessment Without Levels, said: “We are already recruiting for 2016. This will impact on it.”
A DfE spokesperson said the “generous” bursary system was reviewed annually to ensure it targeted areas most in need. The primary recruitment target for 2015 had been exceeded, they added.
See more in the 30th October edition of TES
More at: Funding for primary trainees slashed
With so many challenges in teacher recruitment this seems like a fairly bold move from the DfE, especially when another way of looking at things might be to conclude that because the targets have been reached, the bursaries have been effective and should be retained.
Presumably this money is instead being shunted into the extra bursaries that were announced recently for teachers of Ebacc subjects?
Is the government right to review and target the areas of need, or does this approach feel a bit like spinning plates just as they are about to fall and smash?
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