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Overview

This scheme has been available since 2018. The Scheme supports the Cymraeg 2050 Welsh language strategy. Cymraeg 2050 is the Welsh Government’s ambition to increase the number of Welsh teachers. Cymraeg 2050 has a target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

This Scheme provides a £5,000 grant to students who undertake a secondary postgraduate ITE programme:

  • through the medium of Welsh
    or
  • to teach Welsh as a subject

Students undertaking any employment based teacher training scheme are not eligible for this grant. This includes the ‘Salaried PGCE scheme’.

Students undertaking training programmes which enable them to teach in the Post Compulsory Education and Training Sector (PGCE PCET) are not covered under this scheme.

This guidance relates to the 2024 to 2025 academic year.

The 2024 Scheme will come into effect on 1 September 2024. Students who start ITE programmes leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) between 1 September 2024 and 31 August 2025 can apply. Secondary PGCE students must be studying through the medium of Welsh or to teach Welsh as a subject to qualify.

You should read this guidance in conjunction with the legal scheme related to the year of study. This sets out the statutory requirements of the scheme.

Eligibility criteria for the Iaith Athrawon Yfory Incentive

Students who complete an eligible accredited secondary postgraduate ITE programme in Wales that enables them to teach through the medium of Welsh or teach Welsh as a subject can apply for this scheme. This applies to both full-time and part-time programmes.

The Welsh Ministers have discretion not to pay an incentive grant to a student if the intake target for the programme is reached. You should seek confirmation from your provider that you are not affected by this.

Programme eligibility

For an ITE programme to be eligible it must:

  • be accredited by the Education Workforce Council’s (EWC’s) Teacher Education Accreditation Board
  • lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Wales
  • enable the student to teach in a secondary setting through the medium of Welsh
  • or teach Welsh as a subject

Student eligibility

To be eligible for an incentive grant, a student must:

  • have undertaken an eligible programme, which commenced on or after 1 September but prior to 31 August as specified in the legal scheme
  • qualify for support under Regulations made under section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 currently in force
  • not already be a qualified teacher on commencement of study towards QTS
  • not be employed to teach at a school or other institution as a teacher
  • not be a participant in training organised under an employment-based teacher training scheme. Including the Salaried PGCE
  • to receive instalment one, have successfully completed an eligible programme and obtained QTS in accordance with the School Teachers' Qualifications (Wales) Regulations 2012 which are in force at the time 
  • to receive instalment two, have successfully completed induction within three years, following award of QTS, in a maintained Welsh-medium or bilingual secondary school, or have successfully completed induction as a Welsh teacher in any maintained secondary school in Wales, as required under the Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (Wales) Regulations 2015 and received the first instalment

What grant is available and when payments are made

Under this scheme an incentive grant of £5,000 is available to all students who meet the eligibility criteria.

The incentive payments totalling £5,000 will be made in 2 instalments. They will be paid at the following points:

  • £2,500 in July or August on successful completion of their PGCE and the award of QTS. Where a student is assessed by a resubmission exam board, payments will be made prior to 31 December.
  • £2,500 on successful completion of induction in Wales.

How to apply and how payments are made

This Scheme is administered on behalf of the Welsh Government by ITE partnerships and the Education Workforce Council (EWC). Please contact your ITE Partnership to check your eligibility, apply for the incentive, or if you have any queries.

Eligible students will receive the QTS payment from their ITE partnerships. The final incentive payment will be made by the EWC, payable following successful completion of induction and award of an induction certificate.

ITE partnerships will make students aware of their eligibility to claim this incentive. They will provide access to guidance on the process and the registration documentation. The registration documents ask students to confirm that they have read and understood these webpages. If this confirmation is not received, grant payment cannot be made.

All registration documents submitted to ITE partnerships will be shared with the Welsh Government and the EWC. This enables payments to be made.

If you gained QTS prior to September 2023 you will need to apply directly to the Welsh Government for this incentive. Please refer to the guidance for the year of study to check eligibility.

Student registration for the ITE Priority Subject incentive

ITE partnerships will identify students who meet the eligibility criteria. They will provide eligible students with an incentive Registration Form to sign at the start of the ITE programme. This confirms eligibility and enables payments to be made under this scheme.

These completed incentive Registration Form will be shared with ITE partnerships, Welsh Government and the EWC.

QTS payment

The QTS payment for all eligible students will be paid following completion of an eligible postgraduate ITE programme in Wales leading to QTS (on award of QTS).

Students’ ITE partnership are responsible for making the QTS payments. They will determine the exact payment date. Any issues should be directed to them.

Students who fail to achieve QTS will not be entitled to receive this incentive. It is the student’s responsibility to check with their ITE provider to ensure they are eligible to claim this grant.

Final incentive payment

The final incentive payment will be made to eligible NQTs on eligible programmes following successful completion of induction period and award of an induction certificate. Induction must be undertaken in a Welsh Medium secondary school or in any maintained secondary school if teaching Welsh as a subject. The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is responsible for making this payment.

The EWC will contact students during their induction period. This is to ensure they have all relevant details to process this grant payment. 

The final incentive payment cannot be claimed unless the eligible student has successfully claimed and received the QTS payment under this incentive scheme.

The EWC are responsible for making the final incentive payment and will determine the exact payment date. Any issues should be directed to professionaldevelopment@ewc.wales.

Deferment (Suspension), withdrawal and resumptions

If you leave a secondary postgraduate ITE programme before its completion and award of QTS, you will not be entitled to this incentive.

If you are:

  • resuming an eligible programme
  • starting an eligible programme, where entry has been deferred (suspended)

you will only remain eligible for the incentive grant if the deferment of your programme is no longer than one academic year.

Students who fail to achieve QTS will not be entitled to receive the QTS payment.

If you gained QTS prior to September 2023 you will need to apply directly to the Welsh Government for this incentive. Please refer to the guidance for the year of study to check eligibility.

Recovery of incentive grants

The Welsh Ministers have powers to recover grants paid, in whole or in part. They have discretion about whether to exercise those powers and will consider all cases on their merits.

Cases where these powers might be exercised by the Welsh Ministers will be where:

  • the recipient has provided in, or in connection with, his or her application for a grant, information which is false or materially misleading
  • there is evidence that the recipient had never intended to complete the programme or, having completed it, to enter teaching

Data Protection & Freedom of Information

Information which a student submits as part of their claim under the Iaith Athrawon Yfory Incentive scheme, is subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “FOIA”), the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the “EIR”) the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (the “DPA”).

Students also acknowledge that the Welsh Government is responsible for determining in our absolute discretion whether:

  • to disclose any information which we have obtained under or in connection with the Funding to the extent that we are required to disclose such information to a person making a disclosure request under the FOIA or the EIR and/or
  • any information is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA or the EIR
  • to undertake checks for the purposes of preventing fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity. These checks are required to process personal data about you to third party fraud prevention agencies

Welsh Government is the data controller for the personal information it receives. Any personal data we collect will be managed in accordance with our privacy notice and our page 'Privacy notice: Welsh Government grants'.

Other ITE incentive grants available

The Welsh Government provides 3 incentive schemes that are available to ITE students.

  • Initial Teacher Education priority subjects 
  • Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentives 
  • Ethnic Minority ITE incentive

ITE partnerships will work with their students to help identify who meets the eligibility criteria for each scheme. You may be eligible for more than one scheme. Eligibility under one scheme does not impact your eligibility for other ITE incentive schemes. It is possible to receive grant funding under all 3 incentive schemes. Eligibility criteria for each individual scheme must be met.

You will need to complete an incentive registration form for each scheme you want to apply for. This confirms eligibility and enables payments to be made under the relevant scheme.

Welsh in Education Teacher Retention Bursary

In 2023 the Welsh Government launched a pilot bursary to support the retention of Welsh Medium teachers. The bursary will be available until 2028, the end of the pilot period. Final bursaries being paid in autumn 2028.

Under this Scheme a Bursary of £5,000 is available to teachers who have been:

  • awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from August 2020 onwards
  • who have completed 3 years of teaching,
    • in a Welsh-medium secondary or middle school
      or
    • through the medium of Welsh in a bilingual secondary or middle school
      or
    • teaching Welsh as a subject in any maintained secondary or middle school, in Wales

Welsh in Education Teacher Retention Bursary guidance and eligibility criteria.

 

History of the Iaith Athrawon Yfory Scheme

The Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentive was introduced in 2018. For the academic year 2018 to 2019 up to £3,000 was available. A training grant funding of £2000 for the Welsh Medium Improvement Scheme was also available. This was available to eligible students on eligible ITE programmes that started between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019. This grant was paid in two instalments £500 and £2,500.

Since September 2019 under the Iaith Athrawon Yfory scheme an incentive grant of up to £5,000 has been available. 2 instalments of £2,500 are available to eligible secondary postgraduate students. 

Academic year 2022 to 2023 is the final year that this scheme is administered by Welsh Government. Please see the relevant guidance to check if you are still able to register.

From September 2023 the Iaith Athrawon Yfory Incentive (IAY) is administered by ITE Partnerships and the Education Workforce Council (EWC). You will need to apply directly to your ITE Partnership.

No grant will be paid to a person unless they have made an application to the Welsh Ministers, care of the Welsh Government.

Impact on other financial support

Tax

Incentive grants are not normally taxable for full-time students.

The final incentive payment may be taxable for those individuals in employment. 

You can seek advice on your own circumstances from His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Student financial assistance

An incentive grant is not considered part of household income for student finance provisions. Grants should not be included when working out taxable unearned income.

You should seek advice from your student finance provider on your individual circumstances.

Student loan repayments

For full-time students the grant will not trigger student loan repayments.

For part-time students in employment, liability will depend on whether your work salary is high enough to trigger student loan repayments.

Student loan repayments may be triggered by the final incentive payment. Liability will depend on whether your work salary is high enough to trigger student loan repayments.

Effect on benefits

This will depend on your personal circumstances.

You should seek advice from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Effect on pensions

The incentive grant is not pensionable.

Contact details

If you have any further questions, contact your ITE partnership.