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Overview

This scheme covers students due to achieve their QTS in academic year 2020/21 and is open from 1 September 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The Welsh Ministers have powers under sections 14 to 17 of the Education Act 2002 to provide financial help in related to education. This grant scheme forms part of the Welsh Government response to addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is in place to ensure that student teachers capable of achieving QTS are afforded the opportunity to do so. This scheme supports student teachers back into ITE partner schools to complete their training and enter the teaching profession.

The aim of the scheme is to support student teachers who have met all academic requirements of their PGCE, but have not been able to fully evidence their practical achievement of QTS due to the impact of COVID and a lack of school placements at the end of academic year 2020/21, as assessed by their ITE partnership. This scheme provides financial support to these eligible student teachers’ who need the opportunity to gather further evidence within ITE partner schools to meet all requirements and achieve their QTS.

References to ITE programs include the following:

  • Postgraduate full-time programs
  • Undergraduate full-time programs

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

Students applying for this grant

ITE Partnerships are responsible for assessing the eligibility of students along with administering this grant scheme on behalf of Welsh Ministers.

Students can only claim under this grant scheme if they:

  • are due to achieve their QTS in 2020/21
  • have been advised to apply by their ITE partnerships
  • meet the eligibility criteria and activity requirements
  • have completed the relevant declaration form

If student teachers have any queries in relation to their eligibility or have any queries relating to this grant scheme, they should contact their ITE partnership.

Grant eligibility

Student teachers’ must meet the activity and expenditure criteria covered under this scheme and the general Grant Scheme terms and conditions.

Student teachers are not able to nominate themselves for this grant scheme direct to Welsh Government, ITE Partnerships will check, assess and determine a student teachers’ eligibility under this grant.

Who is eligible for the Grant?

To be eligible for the Initial Teacher Education COVID-19 Response: Supporting AY20/21 ITE School Experience to achieve QTS Grant, a student teacher must:

  • be studying a full-time programme of accredited Initial Teacher Education with QTS in Wales
  • be due to finish their programme of study in academic year 2020/21 and be awarded QTS in Summer 2021
  • have completed and achieved the academic requirements of their ITE Programme, as per the professional judgement of their ITE Partnership
  • be deemed capable by their ITE Partnership of achieving QTS with additional time (a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 8 weeks) in an ITE partner school
  • not have achieved QTS
  • due to personal circumstances  (including medical conditions making them vulnerable to COVID or contracting COVID) or due to school closures (National/Local/Specific) have been impacted on the amount of time that could be spent in an ITE partner school to evidence their achievement of the QTS standards
  • continue to meet the safeguarding and entry requirements required for entry into any Accredited Programme of Initial Teacher Education (with QTS) in Wales
  • intend to enter the school teaching profession as a qualified school teacher.

What activity is Eligible?

This grant is available to eligible student teachers’ to support their living costs (including but not limited to accommodation, travel and sustenance) during the student teachers additional placement within an ITE partner schools to gain the supplementary experience required to achieved QTS.

Student teachers’ placements must take place within Welsh ITE partner schools between 1 September 2021 and 31 March 2022. Placements must take place during term time at the Welsh ITE partner school; half term breaks are included.

Activity under this grant does not guarantee a student teacher’s achievement of QTS.

Grant payments

What grant is available?

Under this grant each eligible student teacher is entitled to receive £300 per week for a maximum of 8 weeks to support living costs.

A minimum of £600 and a maximum of £2,400 per eligible student is available under this scheme. The total grant funding per eligible student teacher will be tailored to meet the individual student teachers’ placement needs and therefore not all students will require the full 8 weeks support and receive the maximum grant.

When payments should be made to students?

ITE partnerships will administer this grant on a weekly basis to eligible student teachers. ITE providers will decide the exact dates of payment.

Payments should only be made to those student teachers’ who meet all eligibility criteria and activity and who are undertaking placements within ITE partner schools between 1 September 2021 and 31 March 2022.

When payments should stop?

Once sufficient evidence to be awarded QTS has been attained a student teacher will no longer remain eligible for this grant. Where this is prior to the maximum 8 week period, no additional funding will be made available.

Once a student teacher has received the maximum amount of funding over the 8 week period, they will no longer remain eligible for this grant.

Where there is not sufficient progress being made by a student teacher (as per the professional judgement of their ITE Partnership) they will no longer be eligible for this grant.

If any student fails to complete placements between 1 September 2021 and 31 March 2022 or has withdrawn or deferred (suspended) a programme, payment should not be made.

Eligible ITE student teacher responsibilities

Eligible student teachers should: 

  • read the information related to the Initial Teacher Education COVID-19 Response: Supporting AY20/21 ITE School Experience to achieve QTS Grant along with the privacy notice (PN00000594)
  • Complete and return the student declaration form, in a secure manner, to your ITE partnership, as directed by them
  • return to the location of your allocated ITE partner school, as directed by your ITE partnership
  • undertake the required placement, for a maximum of 8 weeks, between 1 September 2021 and 31 March 2022
  • Inform your ITE partnership as soon as possible if your circumstances change. For example, school closure, illness, bereavement, suspension or withdrawals and understand that this may affect your grant payment amount
  • use the grant solely for its intended purpose
  • intend to enter the teaching profession once QTS has been achieved

If eligible student teachers have any queries relating to this grant scheme, they should contact their ITE partnership.

Deferment (suspension), withdrawal and resumptions

If a student teacher defers (suspends) their placement they will not be eligible to receive further weekly payments. However, if a student teacher resumes their placement no more than two weeks later, consent from Welsh Government should be obtained for funding to resume; up to the maximum amount of 8 weeks in total. Only mitigating circumstances including, but not exclusive to, illness, bereavement or school closure will be considered a suitable reason for a break in eligible activity.  

Where a student resumes their ITE placements after 1 April 2022, the student teacher will not be eligible to receive payments under this scheme.

Individuals who withdraw from their ITE placements or ITE programme before 31 March 2022 will only be entitled to payments already received, up until the last full week of their attendance at an ITE partner school.

Where there is not sufficient progress being made by a student teacher (as per the professional judgement of their ITE Partnership) they will no longer be eligible for this grant.

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.

These powers may be exercised by the Welsh Ministers where:

  1. after receiving any instalment of a grant, the recipient fails to meet any eligibility criteria and activity adopted by the Welsh Government and set out the information guide in relation to a subsequent instalment or
  2. the recipient has provided in, or in connection with, his or her application for an 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 student teachers submits as part of their declaration under the Initial Teacher Education COVID-19 Response: Supporting AY20/21 ITE School Experience to achieve QTS Grant 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:

  1. 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
  2. any information is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA or the EIR
  3. to undertake checks for the purposes of preventing fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity. Welsh Government may share your personal information with fraud prevention agencies
  4. information about you is shared and linked to other datasets where the law allows or with the Education Workforce Council or Third Party contracted to undertake approved research on behalf of Welsh Government
  5. 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 (PN00000594) and 'Privacy notice: Welsh Government grants'
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