Troops to be offered £40,000 bursaries to train as teachers

classroomVeterans wanting to train as science teachers to be offered £40,000 bursary.

Former military personnel will be offered £40,000 bursaries to retrain as teachers in “priority” subjects, such as computing or science.

The scheme will replace the Troops to Teachers programme, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

The bursary will be for those who have left the army, air force or navy in the past five years and will be paid in the final two years of a three-year teaching degree. More details of the new scheme are expected to be announced this week.

The Troops to Teachers scheme has been criticised for its low take-up. It was announced in 2012 and was expected to attract 180 people to the two-year course for its first intake in January 2014. But just 41 were recruited – and two years’ later just 32 people had completed their training and became teachers.

Since then, more people have completed the course, meaning there are 106 former services personnel who have become fully qualified teachers. Another 96 are still training.

The news of a replacement scheme comes after the Further Forces programme was launched last year to attract armed forces personnel to teach science, engineering or technology in further education.

The Further Forces programme, funded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, will target military service-leavers without degrees but who have relevant skills.

The ETF expects that 110 people will be trained up, with the programme lasting 18 months.

Last week the latest recruitment statistics revealed that the numbers applying for teacher training courses in September 2018 was 23 per cent lower than it was at the same time last year and a recent Department for Education document has revealed the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is expected to spend £95 million less than planned on programmes this year, with much of this blamed on a shortfall in teacher training applicants.