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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.

Grant eligibility

ITE Partnerships will ensure that Student teachers’ meet the activity and expenditure criteria covered under this scheme.

Who is eligible for the Grant?

This grant is available for student teachers undertaking full-time accredited ITE Programme with QTS in academic year 2020/21. ITE students cannot put themselves forward for this grant direct to Welsh Government, ITE Partnerships must check, assess and determine a student teachers’ eligibility under this 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 programme of full-time 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 achievements 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 acceptable as work within schools, between staff does occur in preparation for pupils’ return (this collaborative working is a key part of evidencing QTS standards).

Activity under this grant does not guarantee a student teachers 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 minimum of 2 weeks and 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. Grant amount 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.

Under this grant each ITE Partner school is entitled to receive £100 per week, per student for a maximum of 8 weeks to support placements undertaken by students in conjunction with this scheme.

A minimum of £200 and a maximum of £800 per eligible placement is available to ITE partner schools under this scheme. Any placement must be tailored to meet the individual student teacher’s needs and therefore not all ITE partner schools will receive the full 8 weeks support and receive the maximum grant amount available.

When payments will be made to ITE providers

ITE Partnerships must submit individual declaration forms for each eligible student teacher to the Welsh Government prior to the start of any ITE Partner school placement and no later than 30 September 2021. The declaration contains information that the Welsh Government requires to administer and evaluate the scheme and ITE Partnerships must share all declarations with Welsh Ministers in a secure manner. The declaration form asks students to confirm that they have read and understood the information contained on these web pages. If this confirmation is not received by Welsh Ministers grant payments cannot be made.

Payment will be made to ITE partnerships in arrears. ITE partnerships must complete and submit a quarterly claim form to the Welsh Ministers to ensure appropriate funds are released. ITE Partnerships will be informed of the submission dates via their Grant offer Letter.  

ITE providers are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for local management controls across the cohort of eligible student teachers in academic year 2020/21 and for ensuring that the funding is expended solely for the purposes and activity of its award.

Where eligible student teachers have completed, failed to achieve QTS or withdrawn before the end of the maximum time limit (8 weeks) no further payments should be made to the student or their ITE Placement School.

Declaration and claim forms will be issued to ITE Partnerships directly. If you are an ITE Partnership and have any questions related to the payment process, please contact: ITEducationAddysgGA@gov.wales

When payments should be made to students

ITE providers will administer this grant on a weekly basis to eligible student teacher’s. ITE providers will decide the exact dates of payments.

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 payment should be made to ITE partner schools

ITE providers will administer this grant to eligible ITE partner schools in arears in two quarterly payments before the 31 March 2022. Dates to be agreed by the ITE partnerships.

Payments should only be made to those ITE partner schools that are sufficiently resourced and have supported student teachers’ who meet all eligibility criteria and activity for placements undertaken between 1 September 2021 and 31 March 2022.

When payments should stop

Once sufficient evidence to be awarded QTS has been reached a student teacher will no longer remain eligible for this grant.

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.

ITE Partnerships responsibilities

Identify student teachers

ITE Partnerships are responsible for identifying student teachers that meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Suitable senior members of both university and school based ITE Partnerships must, by using their professional judgments, determine a student teachers eligibility.
  • Each student teacher deemed eligible must meet all the eligibility criteria and activity.
  • Those student teachers unable to achieve QTS (regardless of additional time spent within schools or those that have not completed their academic requirements) by the end of academic year 2020/21 are not deemed eligible.
  • ITE providers must making the necessary arrangements for local management controls for continual assessment to ensure that those student teachers are still deemed capable of achieving QTS.
  • Key milestones should be used to ensure that progress is being made and that the recommendation for QTS can be made at the soonest point.

Placing student teachers

ITE partnerships are responsible for placing student teachers in suitable ITE partner schools. While it may be helpful to student teachers and ITE Partner schools with an established relationship to continue to work together, these placements do not need to take place in the previous ITE Partner schools the student teacher has worked with.

  • Eligible activity can only occur in ITE partner schools.
  • ITE partner schools selected for placements must be sufficiently resourced to enable the student teacher to evidence meeting the QTS standards and to support this scheme.
  • Where the initial school is no longer appropriate to support a student teachers placement due to circumstances outside of the eligible teacher’s control (for example, school closure, removal of ITE partner school status) ITE partnerships will make every reasonable attempt to place eligible student teachers under this scheme in an alternative ITE partner school.
  • Student teacher placements must take place in an ITE partner school term time and will exclude Christmas and Easter Holidays (half term breaks are acceptable as work within schools between staff does occur in preparation for pupils return; this collaborative working is also a key part of evidencing the QTS standards).

Administering this grant

ITE partnerships are responsible for administering this grant on behalf of the Welsh Government. Each ITE partnership must:

  • ensure each student teacher understands the terms of the grant
  • ensure each ITE partner school understands the terms of the grant
  • identify Authorised Signatures and return, in a secure manner, the appropriate  signatures form to Welsh Government prior to the start of any placement and no later than 30th September
  • once identified provide all eligible student teachers with access to the student declaration form
  • collect all signed declaration forms and return, in a secure manner, all student teacher declaration forms to Welsh Government prior to the start of any ITE Partner school placement and no later than 30 September 2021
  • submit quarterly claim forms to Welsh Government in December and March as stated in the Grant offer Letter
  • administer the grant payments to student teachers on a weekly basis, up to the point a student teacher is entitled
  • put in place the necessary arrangements for local management controls
  • administer the grant payments to ITE partner schools in arears (December and March), up to the point the ITE Partner school is entitled based on length of student teacher placement
  • attend regular ITE partnership monitoring meetings with Welsh Government
  • deal with student and school queries in relation to the grant

Full responsibilities for ITE Partnerships are issued in individual Grant offer Letters. If ITE Partnerships have a question related to the grant administration process they should contact ITEducationAddysgGA@gov.wales

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 the ITE programme or, having completed it, to enter teaching

Data Protection & 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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