The Government has published plans to top up bursaries offered to teachers, initially upto £20,000, in order to retain them within the teaching profession. In certain circumstances teachers will be offered up to £5,000 in their third and fifth years at school.
The consensus amongst Head Teachers Unions is that greater support is needed to confront the shortage of teachers. At present teachers entering the profession in areas where there are currently staff shortages, including physics, chemistry and languages are eligible to receive up to £26,000.
The scheme is currently referred to as the “early career payment scheme” and it aims to reward teachers for remaining within the profession. The plan has already been trialled for maths teachers.
In a critique of the plans the Labour Party has dismissed the initiative claiming it will not remedy the previous 6 years of missed teacher training targets.
Of those teachers who began their career in 2012, a third had left the profession five years later. The suggestion being that they feel both overworked and disillusioned.
With respect to salaries the teaching profession has also fallen behind other graduate careers in terms of pay. The minimum starting salary in England is £22,917 rising to £28,660 in inner London, whilst graduates in sectors such as banking are estimated to start at between £30,000 to £45,000.
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