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What are institutions doing to inform potential trainees of the cut in bursaries?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by matthinchley, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. I suspect following the TDA's allocation announcement the other week universities are now beginning to issue offers.
    I wonder though along with these offers, or through general information streams how many institutions are informing students as to the cuts in bursaries that so many student rely upon to support themseleves....
    I know I for one wouldn't have been able to do my PGCE without the support of the bursary/training salary.
    I wouldn't be suprised if, following an offer universities receive a considerable amount of rejections and have to extend their recruitment to find trainees with the financial capabilities to undertake the course.
    Are potential students being infomed of the changes in financial support available to them and being asked whether they are still comitted to the course before a decision on an offer is made?
     
  2. In my experience, 2, they have been pretty up front regards £ due to students.
    Very quite about, course dropout rate, Pass/Fail ratio, and % employed in teaching after 6 month of course completion - anything about 'failure of obtain placement rates' isn't taken well either. Indeed one head tutor went completely loopy when I first asked about dropout rate....so you may want to ask such questions of the admission department rather than the individual tutors - just e-mail them asking for the stats, they need to present them of TDA anyway. Then again that was one bizarre afternoon.

     
  3. I have just had an offer for Lower Primary PGCE and have to say I was told nothing about the bursary cuts. It is from browsing through these forums that I learned of the current situation. I may have missed something, but it also feels as though it wasn't explicitly mentioned anywhere that Primary burseries were being withdrawn, but people have just had to read between the lines.
    I think many applicants have been keeping their ears to the ground, waiting for the funding allocations, and so should be aware of the changes to the bursaries. It is obviously very dissapointing, and very unfair that finances could be a barrier to some potentially great teachers being able to train.
    Does anyone know what IS availble in terms of student loans? Is it means tested? And wouldl it be a similar amount to what was offered in bursary?
     
  4. I read somewhere today that MMU wrote to it's conditional offer holders explaining the situation regarding bursaries and asking whether candidates could afford to attend the course and still like to be considered.
    They were doing this in an attempt to help them make decisions on their places since they have been reduced.

    Anywhere else done something similar?

    Alec- yes the student loans are available, but they barely cover rent, add to that other associated living expenses, plus the cost of communting to university or placement day in day out.... How many people in non-funded subjects can realistically afford to do the courses.
     
  5. Hi
    Providers that I know and talk to are being very upfront over bursaries, it is vital to us that we don't get sudden drop outs late in the year or people simply not turning up. So we must give all the help and information that we can. At Sussex we do talk about drop-out rates, for example in science we talk to individuals about drop out if we think they are part of the danger group and will provide the stats for anyone. On employment rates, again we talk about that to all students and to individual groups: 85% overall, 100% in the sciences. But this is at the end of the course. We cannot keep stats for six months after the trainees leave because too many do not respond to our post training contact. Even though we e-mail, often those are ignored - after all they are often busy working and can't spare the time for filling in a questionnaire about their work for an institution they left six months ago. Most of the information is also publically available anyway e.g. Employment rates. With regard to placement, again we also talk through this on interview and we are upfront about our difficulties and our success and failure rates. This year in science, by the skin of our teeth we did place all 63 trainees for placement 1 in science and for placement 2 all science and KS2-3 trainees have been placed. There is no need in my view to hide these statistics or not talk about them. It is the reality of ITT. It is important however to also stress that drop out rates are a very crude yardstick as why people drop out can vary from they are unable to teach to personal issues or illness or a host of other factors. Also employment rates vary for example when trainees decide to travel after training or simply decide not to get a job - a lower employment rate could have nothing to do with the provider, after all we cannot force people into teaching jobs. If an area has an employment issue, again that is not a provider problem, but a function of education in that area. We are told how many trainees to take and it is decided on a national pictu not a local one. Once trained people can take employment anywhere not just in the area where they trained. For older matu career changers it is different as they may not be free to move so the local position is quite critical for them. James
     
  6. Isn't it our responsibility to ensure that we can afford to do the course?

    Last year, Manchester sent a pack out detailing bursary arrangements so we were aware of what was happening.

    The cut in funding to prospective primary trainees is awful! If I had applied for this year, I wouldn't be able to do the course without my bursary.
     
  7. Yes, I agree we should make sure we can afford to do the course. Had the cuts not been happening though, I would have been able to stay where I completed my degree with the majority of my friends instead of moving home purely for the monetary cost!

    I think the universities offering places should be much more open about how their bursaries are being affected rather than us having to second guess wondering how much more debt that we are going to be in!
     
  8. nemo.

    nemo. New commenter

    I know it must be hard on many but the reality is that there are too many PGCE grads for jobs available. Even in secondary science in London a job in a tough school will get many good quality applicants. In primary it's super tough and I know quite a few unemployed scion teachers. We even had an ex head of science apply for a technicians Post as desperate!

    It would be fairer if student teachers were paid a salary for a job rather than loans etc. Let the free market work and only train teachers for jobs that exist and get rid of the whole silly convoluted funding system. PGCEs could be kept in that model but prob see lot more GTP style QTS only routes.
     

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