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Maths bursaries for 2018/2019

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by NattyJohn, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. NattyJohn

    NattyJohn New commenter

    Hi all

    Over the past year or so I had been thinking very seriously about changing careers to teach Maths secondary. Obviously the bursary isn't the main reason for me wanting to teach but it did soften the blow of what would be a drop in salary for me. However, having seen the new offering for Maths I am feeling a little bit deflated.

    I know it does seem larger with the extra 10k (5k after 3 years and another 5k after 5 years) but that initial 20k really isn't enough for me to pay for fees and live as I have a mortgage to pay and a young family to help support.

    I worked out the previous years money would not see me too worse off from what I am on now. However, that drop of around 5k from last year means it is unlikely that I could afford to change careers. Having already acquired student debt I do not want to take out another loan either.

    I may just wait until next year to see if the situation changes and get some more school experience and brush up on my GCSE Maths!

    I wondered if anyone else considering Maths as a career changer had been put off by this new offering?

  2. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I wouldn't rush into anyhting based on the promises of Bursaries, etc.
    When I went into teaching in FE, there was supposedly a 5k Golden Hello for anyone moving into teaching IT/Computing, as it was classed as a shortfall subject area. I never saw a penny of it, nor any of the supposed help with repayments towards my Student Loan. What they tell you you will get, and what you actually get, may be two dfifferent things.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. Vet31

    Vet31 New commenter

    Hi Natty John, I am in a similar position to yourself. It may be worth considering a fees and maintenance loan as they are only paid back when you are working. We also have to pay the mortgage and childcare etc, there is up to £273 per week childcare grant and also parents learning allowance ( for me it was a possible £1600 per year) and that was putting in my husbands ‘ reasonable ‘ teaching salary into the finance calculator online at gov.uk.

    I am also hoping to complete a long SKE course from January which I am hoping to complete online whilst still working partime and there should be a bursary of £200 per week for 28 weeks, so an extra £5,600 which I am hoping to put away for when I start teacher training Sep 2018. You may not need this course but I do not have a maths degree so I thought I would mention it.

    Hope that helps, let me know how you get on, as we may be going through the process at the same time. Good luck.
  4. DaveJnr

    DaveJnr New commenter

    Here is my story. yours of course may turn out completely differently.
    I am in my late 40s and worked in the civil service all my life after graduating university. My last job of 12 years was very fulfilling and the pay was rather comfortable. Ever since my school days, I thought I wanted to be a science teacher. On graduating I applied and was accepted onto a PGCE course, however I turned it down to go into paid employment and scientific research.
    About this time last year I discovered that there was a substantial training bursary to train to become a science teacher so I decided now was the time to make that change in my life and become the teacher I always wanted to be. I applied for two SCITT courses and was offered a place on both. I chose the one that suited me best as it was closer to home and my first placement would be at a very well respected school. Between Christmas last year I took and passed first time my professional skills tests; I visited the school once a day on an almost a weekly basis; and I completed a SKE course. I said my goodbyes to my old work place in August and I started teacher training in September. By the time the first-half term had arrived I had quit my course and here I sit at home, unemployed and fearful of the future for my family.
    What went wrong for me? Three main things I think. Firstly my work-life balance pendulum had swung from one extreme to the other. Where once I could leave work on the dot and forget about work until I returned the next day, I discovered that I was staying on at school for a number of hours past the students going home. Once my own children had been looked after in the evening it was time to head to the laptop and work, often until midnight. I knew the course was going to be intense, but when I had the chance to chat with colleagues, some in their early career and some well established, they all said that they regularly put in 50+ hours a week and often much more.
    Secondly, the classroom management came as a complete shock to me. My previous job was in training, but there my students were mainly adults and they certainly wanted to learn. At school, I was shocked at the constant battle going on in the classrooms around me. Nothing major or extreme, just the constant low-level stuff. But what tipped me over the edge was on a few occasions when I offered my assistance to students in class and they would totally reject it.
    Thirdly, it was the prospect of knowing that in my NQT year my salary would be considerably less than what I was previously earning or what my bursary was giving me. What made it worse for me was the knowledge that my pay as a teacher would probably never reach the same levels that I was on before I joined teacher training.

    So here I sit at home alone, getting very used to how the iron and hoover work and praying that I might be able to get my old job back.

    Yes, I have been very naive and I should have realised what commitment being a teacher really is.
  5. Vet31

    Vet31 New commenter

    Hi Dave Jnr, thanks for your account, it concerns me a lot. Do you think your experience is common or did you not receive very good support. Were you salaried from the start ? Does anyone have any good experiences of this route into teaching ?
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Dave Jnr’s post is very sad and sadly, very common. You have to be pretty dumb to want to teach today. Behaviour in many schools is seriously out of control and highly stressful to have to deal with daily. And kiss goodbye to your social and family life - workload is hopelessly out of control, still.
    catbefriender, Shedman and Alldone like this.
  7. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Unfortunately the modern state sector doesn't allow newcomer to be the teacher they want to be. The logically minded graduates find this hard to swallow - see shortage of science and maths teachers and the need for giant bursaries.

    If you want to teach, OP, start making links with local independent schools and forget about the bursary.
    catbefriender likes this.
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Those happy memories some of us have (those over about 50) of our school days and those teachers who lifted and inspired us are just that - memories. Modern teaching is a profession where you are forever on the back foot always struggling to keep up and fulfil all those pointless tasks that have absolutely no effect on the learning of our students or any positive effect on their experience of school.
    catbefriender likes this.
  9. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    ... in the state sector.
    Shedman likes this.
  10. palmanense

    palmanense New commenter

    I had the same type of experience as DaveJnr. I had just turned 50 (I know, stupid) and was so excited to be accepted onto a PGCE MFL secondary course, with a 20,000 pounds bursary. I was on a real high, as I'd just done well in my OU degree, and I was relocating back to the UK after 17 years living in Spain, ready and eager to train to be a teacher.

    However, I realised by xmas that I had made the biggest mistake of my liife. It really was the case that from the moment I woke up (usually 5.30am) until the moment I went to bed (never before midnight) I had NO time to whatsoever to rest - 7 days a week. Eventually I realised that enough was enough, when the only way I could relax was the thought of throwing myself off of a very high bridge!

    It really was the worst decision I had ever taken in my life - I had saved up a lot of money to relocate to the UK, As I had no credit record I had to pay 6 months rent in advace. As I didn't leave the course until after the begining of the spring term, I was left with a student loan of 4,500 pounds (which will never get paid and keeps increasing, obviously at a rate of over 3%). The bursary payments (of which I received half of the total amount) were used on rent . Very fortunately for me, I was able to return to the job I had left. The only positive thing to come of this experience is that now I appreciate so much more the life I have now.

    I suppose it was rather naïeve of me to think I would be able to succeed, but I really believed I would be able to cope. However, the course felt like an endurance test, one thing after another being piled ontop of an already heavy workload, never able to finish anything adequately, until I finally crashed out. I still have nightmares about those six months, and I still read the TES forums - mainly to reassure myself that I'm not a failure. It's tough out there, and I admire anyone who completes the course and carries on teaching. I think teachers deserve a medal, and a huge pay rise !.

    I hope I haven't put anyone off teacher training, I just thought I'd share my experience.
    elder_cat likes this.
  11. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    It's valuable to some that you've shared your experiences and yours is a similar story to many others who have posted on these forums.
  12. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Yes, you are right. I always thought that private schooling was buying privilege but now I see it as money spent on an education that ideally the state should be providing rather than the gradgrind fare doled out to state school pupils these days.
    drvs likes this.
  13. begumshiwli

    begumshiwli New commenter

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I've been a civil servant for the last 15 years and was thinking on a career change. I have been offered a School Direct position to start September 18. I am in 2 minds. To live without a salary for a year then reduced salary from what I earn now. I would also need to take out a loan to pay for the PGCE. It's all very daunting. I have a couple of weeks before I submit my decision.
  14. DaveJnr

    DaveJnr New commenter

    It is a very difficult decision for you to make. You can only come to your own conclusion. Your experience on the course could be completely different to mine. What I do know now is that no matter how much I desired being a teacher, the reality is very different. I really loved my experience days in my training school, but what I have since realised is that they put me in some of the best classes and of course as soon as I walked out of the class my continued commitment to that class finished. When you are their teacher (even trainee teacher), you have to plan, mark, and "control" the class. These are tasks which will consume every spare moment of your life. Perhaps I was not organised enough, but I had to say goodbye to my hobbies, my social life and even my family to make sure I could get all my tasks complete.
    I have my old job back and I will be starting sometime in January. I have lost my seniority in the civil service but frankly I don't care about that I'm just thankful I can walk back into a job I was comfortable if somewhat bored with. I can enjoy all my hobbies again, I can enjoy time with my family and I can enjoy putting my feet up and watching all the TV I want to.
  15. teachingspurs

    teachingspurs New commenter

    I went from a near 100k easy finance job to 22k NQT role. I only received 6k bursary. I absolutely love teaching. I love my class. I work far harder and enjoy what I do. I also have a social life and can afford everything I need. The stress level is close to what I was used to but the work I undertake now means I have to engage my brain far more. I wouldn't change it.
    Fajon likes this.
  16. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Would you be able to afford everything that you need had you not had years on a very high salary outside teaching?

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