EDUCATION Minister Huw Lewis has announced financial incentives for top postgraduate students.
The money, grants of up to £20,000, is for students whishing to teach top priority subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry in Wales.
Eligible postgraduate trainee teachers with a first class degree will receive the highest funding in 2014/15, with progressively lower amounts for those with a 2.1 or 2.2. Funding will not be available for those without at least a 2.2 degree classification.
Medium priority incentives of up to £15,000 will be available for those studying Welsh, modern foreign languages and ICT. For those with a first class degree studying all other secondary postgraduate and primary studies teacher training courses a £3,000 incentive will be available.
Huw Lewis said: “We want to support and encourage our best Welsh graduates to train to teach in Wales and that’s why we’re putting these incentives in place for 2014/15.
“Our approach targets specific priority postgraduate secondary subjects supporting the recruitment of the very best graduates.
“These incentives will continue to strengthen the quality of Initial Teacher Training in Wales by encouraging the most talented graduates with high level subject specialism to enter teaching.”
A further supplement of £2,000 is being made available to those undertaking primary postgraduate courses whose first class degree classification is in the subjects of English, mathematics and Welsh to raise standards in literacy and numeracy and recognise subject specialism in core subjects in primary.
Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones, who also serves as Chair of the Assembly’s Children and Young People Committee, has welcomed the news saying: “In order to improve teaching and learning, we need the most talented and able graduates to train and teach in Wales.
“Recruitment has proven difficult in certain subjects where a great deal of detailed subject knowledge is required. These new incentives will hopefully encourage our brightest graduates to consider teaching as a profession. This is just another example of how the Welsh Government is determined to raise educational standards across Wales”.