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ITE priority subject incentives are grants available to eligible students who undertake a postgraduate ITE programme in Wales that leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

First published:
17 November 2023
Last updated:

Overview

ITE incentive grants available reflect current recruitment priorities within the teaching workforce in Wales.

The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Priority Subject Incentive Scheme provides a £15,000 grant to students who:

  • undertake a postgraduate ITE programme in specified subjects (priority subjects)
  • meet the eligibility criteria

Students undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with QTS are eligible if they meet the criteria. This includes both full-time and part-time students.

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. Students must be studying specific subjects in Wales in order 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 ITE Priority Subject incentive

Students on eligible postgraduate ITE programmes in Wales who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for this scheme. This applies to both full-time and part‑time eligible programmes.

ITE priority subject grants may not be paid to students who have been accepted onto an accredited ITE programme after the intake allocation for that programme has been reached. You should seek confirmation from your ITE Partnership that you are not affected by this.

Programme eligibility

An eligible programme is a secondary postgraduate ITE programme specialising in a priority subject in Wales leading to QTS (on award of QTS).

Priority subjects

To be eligible for an ITE priority subject grant, you must hold a degree qualification of 2.2 or higher. You must be studying wholly or mainly in one of the following subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design & Technology
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
  • Physics
  • Welsh

The degree or equivalent qualification classification specified above is not required to be in the same subject as that undertaken on the postgraduate ITE programme. If you require advice contact your ITE Partnership.

For the purposes of the qualification classification, honorary degrees of any sort are not recognised as academic qualifications.

Grant eligibility

To be eligible for each instalment of this incentive, you need to meet the specific criteria at each payment point.

In-programme payment

To be eligible for an in-programme payment instalment, you must:

  • be undertaking an eligible postgraduate ITE programme in Wales. This must start on or after 1 September of one academic year and before 1 September of the following academic year
  • be an eligible student who qualifies for financial support under regulations currently in force made under section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 as they apply to that course
  • not already be a qualified teacher
  • not be employed to teach at a school or other institution as a teacher on entry to their eligible postgraduate ITE programme
  • not be a participant in training organised under an employment-based teacher training scheme, including the Salaried PGCE
  • not be undertaking a further education course of any kind

QTS payment

To be eligible for a QTS payment, on completion of an ITE programme and on Award of QTS, you must:

  • meet the eligibility requirements for the priority subject grant and have received all the eligible in-programme incentive payments during their ITE programme
  • have successfully completed an eligible ITE programme and obtained QTS in accordance with the School Teachers' Qualifications (Wales) Regulations 2012

Final incentive payment

To be eligible for the final incentive payment on completion of induction, a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) must:

  • have met the eligibility requirements for the priority subject grant and have received all the eligible in-programme and QTS incentive payments during their ITE programme and on award of QTS
  • have successfully completed induction and awarded an induction certificate within 3 years of award of QTS, in any maintained secondary setting in Wales, as required under the Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (Wales) Regulations 2015

What grant is available and when payments are made

Under this scheme an incentive grant of £15,000 is available to all students who meet the eligibility criteria.

Full-time students

The incentive payments totalling £15,000 will be made in 3 instalments. They will be paid at the following points during a student’s ITE programme and early career:

  • £6,000 in January following completion of the first term of their PGCE
  • £6,000 in July or August on successful completion of their PGCE and award of QTS. Where a student is assessed by a resubmission exam board, payments will be made prior to 31 December
  • £3,000 on successful completion of Induction in Wales

Part-time students

The incentive payments totalling £15,000 will be made in 4 instalments. They will be paid at the following points during a student’s part-time ITE programme and early career:

  • £3,000 in January following completion of the first term of their PGCE
  • £3,000 in January following completion the first year and the first term of the second year of their PGCE
  • £6,000 in July or August on successful completion of their PGCE and award of QTS. Where a student is assessed by a resubmission exam board, payments will be made prior to 31 December
  • £3,000 on successful completion of induction in Wales

How to apply and how payments are made

ITE priority subject grants are administered by ITE Partnerships and the Education Workforce Council (EWC) on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Please contact your ITE Partnership to check your eligibility, apply for a grant of if you have any queries.

Eligible students will receive in-programme and QTS payments from their ITE Partnerships. The final incentive payment will be made by the EWC 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 each eligible student with access to guidance on the process and the registration documentation. The registration documents ask students to confirm that they have read and understood the information contained on 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 to enable payments to be made.

Students who started their ITE programme prior to September 2024 and are returning to complete their programme between 1st September 2024 and 31st August 2025 should refer to the deferment (suspension), withdrawal and resumptions section of this guidance.

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 their ITE programme. This confirms eligibility and enables payments to be made under this scheme.

The incentive registration form will be shared with ITE partnerships, Welsh Government and the EWC.

In-programme payments

Full-time eligible students will receive one in-programme payment. This will be paid on completion of the first term providing they are continuing their ITE programme.

Part-time eligible students will receive 2 in-programme payments. They will be paid on completion of the first term and on completion of the first term of their second year providing they are continuing their ITE programme.

ITE partnerships are responsible for making the in-programme payments to students in January. They will determine the exact payment date. Any issues should be directed to them.

It is the student’s responsibility to check with their ITE Partnership to ensure they are eligible to claim this grant.

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 the QTS payment. 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 for all eligible NQTs will be made once a student has successfully completed their induction period at a maintained school in Wales and award of an induction certificate. The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is responsible for making this payment.

The EWC will contact students during their induction period 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 all previous payments 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

Where a student resumes an ITE programme in a different academic year, payments will continue to be made at the same rate (if any) which applied in the academic year the student’s studies initially started or deferred. This applies unless the Welsh Government agree otherwise in writing. 

If a student resumes an ITE programme they will need to complete a Deferment and Resumptions Form. This form will be provided by ITE Partnerships and shared with Welsh Government and the EWC. Any payments made to students who resume an ITE programme will take into account any payments previously received.

Returning to an ITE Programme

Students who started an ITE programme prior to September 2022 and return after September 2024 will revert to the payment structure as set out in this guidance (termly payments will no longer be made). The total incentive amount will remain as per amounts set out under the Initial Teacher Education priority subject incentives: guidance for students 2021 and previous years, minus any payments already received.

How deferment effects in-programme payments

If a full-time student defers (suspends) their studies during the first term, they will not be eligible to receive the payment. However, if a student resumes their studies within the same academic year, they will be entitled to receive the missed payment on award of QTS. Under these circumstances payment will be made following award of QTS and in addition to the QTS payment.

If a part-time student defers (suspends) their studies during the first term, they will not be eligible to receive the payment. However, if a student resumes their studies within the same academic year, they will be entitled to receive the missed payment following the first term of their second year. Under these circumstances payment will be made following the completion of their first year and in addition to the second in-programme payment.

If a part-time student defers (suspends) their studies between the second term of their first year and the first term of their second year, they will not be eligible to receive the second in-programme payment. However, if a student resumes their studies within the second academic year of study, they will be entitled to receive the missed payment on award of QTS. Under these circumstances payment will be made following award of QTS and in addition to the QTS payment.

Full-time students who withdraw from a programme before the end of the first term and are eligible for an incentive grant, will not be entitled to any payment.

Part-time students who withdraw from a programme during the first term of the first year will not be entitled to any payment. Part-time students who complete the first term of the first year (and receive the first payment) but withdraw between the second term of their first year and the first term of their second year will not be entitled to any further payment.

How deferment effects the QTS payment

If a student defers (suspends) their studies after receiving in-programme payments and prior to achieving QTS, they will not be eligible to receive the QTS payment. However, if a student resumes their studies and achieves QTS, they will be entitled to receive the QTS payment on award of QTS. Under these circumstances payment will be made following completion of an eligible postgraduate ITE programme in Wales leading to QTS (on award of QTS) and in line with these conditions.

A Deferment and Resumptions Form will need to be completed.

Students who withdraw from a programme after the first payment has been received but before achieving QTS and are eligible for an incentive grant, will only be entitled to the payment already received.

Students who do not achieve QTS at the end of their ITE programme and are eligible for an incentive grant, will not be entitled to the QTS payment.

Induction and the final incentive payment

Students who achieve QTS and are eligible for an Incentive grant but do not complete their induction period within the specified period within a maintained school in Wales, will not be entitled to the final incentive payment.

Induction must be successfully completed within 3 years of achieving QTS within a maintained setting in Wales to remain eligible to receive the final incentive payment.

Recovery of incentive grants

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

The Welsh Government may exercise these powers where:

  • after receiving any instalment of an incentive grant, the recipient fails to meet any eligibility criteria adopted by the Welsh Government and set out in the schedule or information guide in relation to a subsequent instalment
  • the recipient has provided in, or in connection with, his or her application for an incentive grant, information which is false or materially misleading, or there is firm evidence that the recipient had never intended to complete their ITE programme or, having completed it, to enter teaching.

Data Protection and Freedom of Information

Information which students submit as part of their claim under The ITE Priority Subject Incentive scheme, is subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “FOIA”), the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the “EIR”) the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (the “DPA”).

In submitting this information students 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 'Privacy notice: Welsh Government grants'.

Other ITE incentive grants available

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

ITE Partnerships will work with their students to help identify who meets the individual 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 scheme. It is possible to receive grant funding under all 3 incentive schemes providing you meet the eligibility criteria for each individual scheme.

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

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 should seek advice from His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) regarding your own individual circumstances.

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, for 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.