Press release: Top graduates to get up to £30k to train to teach core subjects

Top graduates are being offered up to £30,000 tax free to train to teach the key subjects – like maths and physics – that help young people reach their full potential, Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced today (Thursday 1 October 2015).

To ensure all pupils, regardless of background, receive the best possible education, the government wants every child to study the academic qualifications at GCSE that will help them succeed in life – whether it is securing a place at university, an apprenticeship or their first job. Pupils who started secondary school last month will all have the opportunity to study the key English Baccalaureate (EBAcc) subjects of English, maths, science, history or geography, and a language at GCSE.

To help attract the best and brightest graduates with the potential to be exceptional teachers in the core Ebacc subjects, the government has today published details of the increased tax-free bursaries and prestigious scholarships available for the academic year 2016 to 2017.

These include:

  • £30,000 tax free for graduates with a first class degree who are training to teach physics, an increase from £25,000 in 2015 to 2016 – trainees in physics with a 2:1 will continue to receive a £25,000 bursary, and trainees with a 2:2 will also now receive £25,000, up from £15,000 last year

  • increased bursaries of up to £25,000 in other EBacc subjects including maths, biology, chemistry, computing, languages and geography

  • continuing the increased funding available to schools offering School Direct (salaried) places in maths and physics to boost starting salaries in these subjects – trainees can earn £25,000 nationally and £29,900 in inner London

  • a further 700 prestigious tax-free scholarships worth up to £30,000 for physics and £25,000 for maths, chemistry and computing trainees, delivered in partnership with the professional bodies for these subjects

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

As part of the government’s commitment to real social justice, we want every child to study the core academic subjects that will provide the best preparation for later life.

Teaching now attracts more top graduates than ever before. To ensure we can continue to attract the best and brightest graduates into the profession, with the potential to be excellent teachers in these key subjects, we are continuing to offer a wide range of bursaries and scholarships.

These new financial incentives will give more talented people the opportunity to become teachers so they can inspire even more young people to achieve their full potential.

Many thousands of talented graduates have already received a tax-free cash incentive in recognition of their potential to be outstanding teachers in a range of key subjects.

More than 16,500 trainees receive a training bursary every year. A further 1,400 of the most gifted maths, physics, chemistry and computing trainees have also benefited from one of the government’s sought-after teacher training scholarship schemes, which have been running since 2011 in partnership with highly respected professional bodies:

  • The Institute of Physics (IOP)
  • The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

As well as generous financial benefits, scholars will enjoy a range of perks including free membership to professional bodies, access to resources and events to support them during their training, and early career support through their first years of teaching.

Fern Langran-Goldsmith, who was awarded a scholarship in partnership with IOP in 2014, said:

I would highly recommend the IOP scholarship to everyone. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Through it I have met some incredible people and it has given me opportunities beyond what my training course was able to give me.

Notes to editors:

  1. Read the full list of bursaries and scholarships for the academic year 2016 to 2017.

  2. Read more information about careers in teaching and the routes available to get there.

  3. On the School Direct salaried route, graduates that have been working for around 3 years in any career will earn a salary during their training.

  4. Scholarship schemes operate independently, and, as such, each professional body offers a different range of non-financial benefits to successful scholars. To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must have a first or 2:1 degree, a high level of subject knowledge and excellent potential to teach. To be awarded a scholarship, applicants must undertake an additional assessment and selection process run by the appropriate organisation.
    You can find further details on the websites of the relevant organisations.


The physics initial teacher training (ITT) scholarship scheme is run by IOP. IOP offers the following additional benefits to successful scholars:

  • IOP membership
  • mentoring through their Stimulating Physics Support (SPS) programme
  • networking and support from scholarship peers
  • the chance to contribute to physics education policy

Dr Frances Saunders, President of IOP, said:

Recent efforts to recruit a greater number of physics teachers have helped to reduce the shortage. Nevertheless, the problem of there being too few specialists persists. The government’s continued commitment to our scholarship scheme, and the increase to £30,000, is recognition of both the depth of the problem and the momentum that our successful scheme has gathered, having awarded 456 teaching scholarships over the last 4 years. We look forward to welcoming another round of scholars to our teacher community this year and helping them to become some of the England’s very best, most inspirational teachers.


The maths ITT scholarship is run by IMA in collaboration with The London Mathematical Society (LMS), The Royal Statistical Society (RSS), Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI) and The Mathematical Association (MA). IMA and its partners offer the following additional benefits to successful scholars:

  • membership of IMA, LMS, RSS, MEI and MA
  • free or reduced rates to a range of journals
  • free or reduced rates for attendance at a range of conferences
  • membership of a scholars community, and an opportunity to contribute to maths education policy
  • access to a professional body library and online resources including free individual access to MEI‘s extensive online mathematics teaching and learning resources on their ‘Integral’ website

Nigel Steele, IMA‘s Honorary Education Secretary said:

It is clear that further action is required to attract and retain excellent mathematics teachers within secondary schools. We believe that the inspirational scholars we have supported will go on to be leading figures in their schools and in the wider mathematics education field and welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the Department for Education and the other mathematical professional organisations to encourage more candidates like them to enter teaching.


The chemistry ITT scholarship is run by RSC. RSC offers the following additional benefits to successful scholars:

  • membership for 2 years, and discounted for a further 2 years
  • selection of RSC materials including resources, lab coat and other consumables
  • national and regional support networks including:
    • local meetings
    • online communities
    • annual conference/events
    • mentoring

Dr Robert Parker, Chief Executive of RSC, said:

If the chemical sciences are to thrive in the future, we need to inspire the next generation of chemists today. That starts with expert and engaging teaching.

We are delighted to offer teacher training scholarships for the fourth year, to attract talented chemists to the profession, and help them become the best teachers they can. Our scholars tell us they value not just the financial support, but the focused professional development and mentoring they receive.

They come from all walks of life – some are recent graduates, others have worked in industry or academia – but they all have a passion for their subject that they want to share. We need more chemistry specialists in our schools to nurture the talented scientists of tomorrow. I hope these scholarships will continue to encourage exceptional chemists to consider a career in teaching, so that every child in the UK has access to an excellent chemistry education.


The computing ITT scholarship is run by BCS. BCS offers the following additional benefits to successful scholars:

  • the scheme is intended to be part of a range of activities that nurture future computing master teachers who will lead innovation both within their own school and in collaboration with other schools

  • BCS will also broker informal mentoring and development opportunities with excellent schools, universities and major employers

Bill Mitchell, Director of Education for BCS, said:

We are delighted the scholarship scheme is running again this year and are pleased to have the support of a number of leading industry partners who are as passionate as we are about ensuring we attract the very best people to become computing teachers. The number of high profile employers who continue to pledge their support for the scheme is also very pleasing.

The scheme once again has the backing of major industry names including Microsoft, IBM, BT, Google, Metaswitch Networks, Compare the Market, HP, Toshiba, Ocado Goldman Sachs, Citrix and Morgan Stanley.

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