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The Welsh in Education Teacher Retention Bursary ('the Bursary') supports the Welsh Government’s ambition of a million Welsh speakers by 2050 and specifically aims to increase the number of Welsh and Welsh-medium secondary teachers by encouraging them to remain in the profession.
The Bursary of £5,000 is available to teachers who have been awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from August 2020 onwards, and 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.
The Bursary is a pilot scheme, launched in 2023, which will be available for the next 5 years until the end of the pilot period in 2028. The final bursaries of the pilot period will be paid in autumn 2028.
The Welsh Ministers have powers to provide financial assistance under sections 14 to 17 of the Education Act 2002 for the promotion of the recruitment or retention of teachers or non-teaching staff. The Bursary is made in the exercise of those powers.
Eligibility criteria are the same whether you are working full or part-time or have undertaken a mixture of both. Eligibility criteria are also the same wherever you are on the teacher pay scale or if you are in receipt of additional responsibilities allowances, for example TLR for head of year group.
Eligible teachers must have:
- gained QTS from August 2020
- completed 3 years of teaching following the date QTS was awarded
- completed 3 years of teaching:
- Welsh as a subject in a maintained secondary or middle school in Wales, or
- any subject through the medium of Welsh in a maintained Welsh-medium or bilingual secondary or middle school in Wales
Teachers who teach through the medium of Welsh in schools which are in categories 2 and 3, as set out in the guidance on school categorisation according to Welsh-medium provision would be eligible to apply for the Bursary.
Teachers who have already received the Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentive are eligible to apply for the retention bursary, as long as they meet the criteria.
In addition, as long as the criteria have been met, you are also eligible to apply if you have:
- trained outside of Wales and the EWC has recognised your QTS
- trained via the Open University programmes
- have not specifically trained to teach through the medium of Welsh but are now doing so and have done so for the requisite 3 years
Teachers who have been away from school due to ill health or parental leave or due to disciplinary proceedings are eligible to apply for the Bursary as long as there hasn’t been a contractual break in service, and they have been employed for 3 years post QTS.
Teachers in ages 3 to 19 schools (middle schools) are eligible to apply as long as they meet the criteria outlined above and more than 50% of their teaching timetable in each of the relevant 3 years post QTS has been allocated to teaching learners in years 7 to 13. This will need to be verified by the applicant and the current headteacher as part of the application form.
Teachers who have gained QTS through an employment-based route are eligible, as long as QTS has been awarded since August 2020 and 3 years’ teaching has been completed.
Teachers at an independent school, sixth form college, or further education institution are not eligible for the Bursary. To be eligible, the applicant must have completed 3 years of teaching Welsh or through the medium of Welsh post QTS in a maintained Welsh-medium or bilingual secondary or middle school in Wales.
Eligible teachers will be paid £5,000 with their salaries in the autumn term of their fourth year of teaching.
The Welsh Government will cover tax and NI contributions to ensure all recipients are paid the full £5,000 in their salary.
Effect of the Bursary on benefits
The Department for Work and Pensions is a UK Government department responsible for welfare and pension policy. You should seek advice from them on your individual circumstances.
Bursary and pensions
The Bursary is not pensionable.
How to apply
Applicants will be required to apply for the bursary.
The window for applications will open on 1 September 2023. Those who believe they are eligible should apply by 30 September 2023. Successful applicants will be informed during October and the Bursary will be paid along with the applicant’s salary by December of that year.
Any teacher who does not have 3 years’ service when the application window opens may apply in subsequent years once that length of service has been reached.
Applicants should complete the application form, including their date of gaining QTS, EWC teacher reference number, current employer and a list of previous employers along with the relevant dates.
The application can be found on The Welsh in Education Teacher Retention Bursary.
Forms should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications that are incomplete or are submitted late will be rejected. Applicants will be able to resubmit an application the following year. Applicants must submit an application within 2 years of having reached the required 3 years of service.
Email receipts will be provided by Welsh Government. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure safe receipt of emails. Copies of emails and any application forms sent to Welsh Government should be retained by applicants for their records. Confirmation of receipt emails received from Welsh Government should also be retained. If an applicant has not received a confirmation of receipt email from Welsh Government within 10 days, they should assume the email has not been received.
Terms and conditions
No bursary will be paid to a person unless they have made an application to the Welsh Ministers, care of the Welsh Government on the correct form and submitting the evidence requested.
Recovery of the Bursary
The Welsh Ministers may require the Bursary to be repaid in whole or in part if, for example, the recipient has provided in, or in connection with, their application, information which is false or materially misleading.
Data protection and Freedom of information
Information which an individual submits as part of their application for the Bursary, 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 (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (the 'DPA').
Applicants 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
- any information is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA or the EIR
Welsh Government is the data controller for the personal information it receives. Any personal data we collect and share with local authorities and schools will be managed in accordance with our privacy notice for this scheme.