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Overview

The Welsh Ministers have powers under sections 14 to 17 of the Education Act 2002 to provide financial help to the recruitment or retention of teachers and non-teaching staff. This grant is in place to encourage individuals to train, enter and remain in the teaching profession and should not form part of a student finance package.

The Initial Teacher Education Priority Subject incentive scheme is a legal scheme (“the Scheme”), made by the Welsh Ministers in the exercise of their powers and is reviewed on an annual basis. Each Scheme makes provision for the Welsh Government to pay grants by way of incentive to eligible students to undertake a postgraduate ITE programme in specified subjects (priority subjects).

Students undertaking Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (full-time and part-time) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are eligible for this grant providing they meet the criteria.

Students undertaking any Employment Based Teacher Training Scheme including the Salaried PGCE are not eligible for this grant.

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

Full information on eligibility and conditions are set out in the legal scheme, which should be read alongside this information.  

Please reference the appropriate scheme to the academic year of study to check eligibility and criteria. If you have any questions related to previous years please contact ITEIncentives@gov.wales.

2022 to 2023 academic year

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Priority Subject incentive scheme 2022 (“the Scheme”) was made by the Welsh Ministers on 7 June 2022 . A copy of the Scheme should be read alongside this information.

The 2022 Scheme comes into effect on 1 September 2022 for students in Wales who, between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2023, start ITE programmes leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in specified subjects.

Students applying for a grant

ITE Partnerships and the Education Workforce Council (EWC) are responsible for administering and assessing eligibility of students for the ITE priority subject incentive grant on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Students can only claim an incentive grant if they:

  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • are studying on an eligible programme
  • have made an application by completing the relevant registration form

If students have any queries in relation to their eligibility, applying for a grant or have any queries relating to these grants, they should contact their ITE Partnership.

Roles and responsibilities

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

ITE Partnerships are responsible for all in-programme payments and payments made on award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The EWC are responsible for the final incentive payment following successful completion of Induction and award of an Induction certificate.  

Welsh Government are responsible for the terms and conditions of the scheme, and collection of data to enable payments to be made to ITE Partnerships and the EWC.

ITE Partnerships’ responsibilities for grant administration

ITE Partnerships are responsible for:

  • identifying students that meet the eligibility criteria
  • providing eligible students with access to the registration form at the start of the ITE programme
  • ensuring students understand the terms of the grant
  • collecting all signed registration forms and returning, in a secure manner, all forms to Welsh Government
  • completing claim forms in line with in-programme and QTS award dates* (as detailed within their grant offer letter)
  • completing Deferment and Resumption Forms as necessary and sharing in a secure manner with Welsh Government
  • administering in-programme (January) and QTS (July/August*) grant payments to students
  • dealing with student queries in relation to the grant
  • Sharing, in a secure manner, any required information with the EWC in relation to the administration of the grant payments to students. The sharing of information is to enable the final incentive payment to eligible Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) following successful completion of Induction and award of the Induction certificate. The process for this will be determined jointly between the ITE Partnerships and the EWC. 

Full responsibilities for ITE Partnerships are issued annually in individual grant offer letters and contract letters. If ITE Partnerships have a question related to the grant administration process they should contact ITEIncentives@gov.wales.

*Where a student is assessed by the exam board in late August, ITE Partnerships should submit updated claim information to Welsh Government for those individuals who are successfully awarded QTS to enable payments to be made in September.

The EWC’s responsibilities for grant administration

The EWC are responsible for:

  • Working with ITE Partnerships to identify students that meet the eligibility criteria following award of QTS.
  • Collecting relevant information from NQTs to enable the final incentive payment to be made.
  • Ensuring NQTs understand the terms of the grant and the process for the final incentive payment
  • Completing claim forms and submitting, in a secure manner, to Welsh Government (as detailed within their grant offer letter)
  • Administering the final incentive grant payment
  • Dealing with student queries in relation to the final incentive grant payment.

The process for sharing information in relation to the incentive scheme between ITE Partnerships and the EWC will be determined jointly.

Full responsibilities for EWC are issued annually as part of the grant offer letter. If the EWC have a question related to the grant administration process they should contact ITEIncentives@gov.wales or the relevant ITE Partnership.

Priority subject scheme eligibility

The ITE incentive grants available reflect current recruitment priorities within the teaching workforce in Wales and are available to eligible students on eligible postgraduate ITE programmes in Wales. 

ITE priority subject grants are available for both full-time and part time Programmes. ITE Partnerships and the EWC must refer to the scheme linked to the year study is undertaken to check students’ eligibility. The legal scheme sets out the statutory requirements of the scheme.

Programme eligibility

An eligible programme is a secondary postgraduate ITE programme specialising in a priority subject in Wales leading to QTS.

Priority Subjects 2022 to 2023

To be eligible for an ITE priority subject grant, a person must hold a degree qualification of 2.2 or higher and 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. It is for ITE Partnerships to use their professional judgments to assess a student’s eligibility.

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

Student eligibility

To be eligible for each payment instalment of the incentive grant, a person must meet the individual criteria at each payment point as detailed below.

To be eligible for an incentive grant in-programme payment instalment, a person must:

  • be undertaking an eligible postgraduate ITE programme in Wales which commences on or after 1 September 2022 but prior to 1 September 2023
  • 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

To be eligible for an incentive grant QTS payment instalment, on completion of an ITE programme and on award of QTS, a student must:

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

To be eligible for an incentive grant final payment instalment, on completion of Induction, a NQT must:

  1. 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 
  2. have successfully completed Induction and awarded an Induction certificate within three 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.

The Welsh Government have discretion not to pay an incentive grant to students who have been accepted onto an accredited ITE programme after the intake target for that programme has been reached (as notified by the EWC). ITE Partnerships should inform any students that are affected by this.

Grant amount

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

Grant payments

When and what payments should be made to students and NQTs

ITE Partnerships are responsible for in-programme and QTS payments.

The EWC is responsible for the final incentive payment, made on award of Induction.  

ITE Partnerships and the EWC will decide the exact dates of payments. (Details to assist setting these dates are provided within their grant offer letters).

Full-time students

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

  • £3,000 in January following completion of the first term of their PGCE
  • £6,000 in July/August** on successful completion of their PGCE and award of QTS
  • £6,000 on successful completion of Induction in Wales

Part-time students

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

  • £1,500 in January following completion of the first term of their PGCE
  • £1,500 in January following completion the first year and the first term of the second year of their PGCE. 
  • £6,000 in July/August** on successful completion of their PGCE and award of QTS.
  • £6,000 on successful completion of Induction in Wales.

**Where a student is assessed by the exam board in late August, payments will be made in September.

The exact dates of payments will be set out in the grant agreement terms and conditions.

In-programme Payments

In-programme payments should only be made to those eligible students who are continuing their ITE programme and have completed the specified term of in-programme study that a payment is due.

If any student has withdrawn or deferred (suspended) a programme prior to when the in-programme payment is due, payment should not be made. Please refer to the ‘When and what payments should be made to students and NQTs’ section of this guidance.

QTS payment

The QTS payment should only be made to those eligible students who have completed an eligible postgraduate ITE programme in Wales leading to QTS (on award of QTS).  If a student fails to achieve QTS, payment should not be made.

If any student has withdrawn or deferred (or suspended) a programme prior to being awarded QTS, payment should not be made.

Final Incentive payment

The final incentive payment should only be made to those eligible NQTs who have successfully completed their Induction period and been awarded an Induction certificate, within 3 years of achieving their QTS.

If any NQT fails to successfully complete Induction within 3 years of achieving their QTS or has not received all previous payments under this incentive scheme, payment should not be made.

Previous funding

Where a student has received an incentive grant in full or part under any previous scheme, the instalments of this incentive grant will be reduced by the amount of previous payments received. This also applies to grants received under any arrangements applying in England which the Welsh Government are satisfied correspond to those made in respect of incentive grants in pursuance of this scheme.

Eligible students are only entitled to the maximum of the incentive grant value which applied in the academic year the student’s studies initially started, unless the Welsh Government agree otherwise in writing.

How the payment will be paid to ITE Partnerships

ITE Partnerships must submit individual registration forms for each eligible student to the Welsh Government at the start of each academic year. The registration form contains information that the Welsh Government require to administer and evaluate the scheme and ITE Partnerships must share all registration forms with Welsh Government in a secure manner. This information will also be shared with the EWC for administration purposes. The registration form asks students to confirm that they have read and understood the information contained on the student guidance web pages. If this confirmation is not received by Welsh Government, grant payments cannot be made.

Prior to in-programme and QTS instalments ITE Partnerships must complete and submit a claim form to the Welsh Government to ensure appropriate funds are released. ITE Partnerships will be informed of the submission dates via the grant agreement letter.

Registration forms 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 ITEIncentives@gov.wales.

How the payment will be paid to the EWC

The EWC must complete and submit claim forms to the Welsh Government to ensure appropriate funds are released in accordance with the dates scheduled in the grant offer letter.

Claim forms will be issued to the EWC directly. If the EWC have any questions related to the payment process, please contact ITEIncentives@gov.wales.

Deferment (suspension), withdrawal and resumptions

Where a student resumes an ITE programme in a different academic year to when they initially started or deferred, 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, unless the Welsh Government agree otherwise in writing. 

Where a student resumes an ITE programme they will need to complete a Deferment and Resumption Form. Deferment and Resumption Forms must be completed by the student and submitted securely with the appropriate claim form to the Welsh Government at ITEIncentives@gov.wales to ensure appropriate funds are released.

Deferment and Resumption Forms are available from Welsh Government. Completed forms will be shared with ITE Partnerships, Welsh Government and the EWC.

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.

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.

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 three 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.

These powers may be exercised by the Welsh Government 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 or
  • 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 the programme or having completed it, to enter teaching

Data Protection & Freedom of Information

Information which a student submits 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”).

Students 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 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 (PN00000374) and 'Privacy notice: Welsh Government grants'.

Frequently asked questions by students

Please refer to Students guidance.

Frequently asked questions by ITE Partnerships

Are non-UK nationals eligible to claim the ITE priority subject incentive?

Should a student meet all the criteria and not fall under an exemption then they would be eligible. ITE Partnerships should use their professional judgment to establish a student’s eligibility.

The main point to consider for a non-UK National is whether they qualify for support under the Student Support Regulations currently in force in Wales. Student Finance Wales will be able to assist in establishing support entitlement. 

Please refer to the legal scheme and Grant amount and degree qualification classifications section.

Further questions?

If ITE Partnership’s and EWC have a question related to or not covered in this information, please contact ITEIncentives@gov.wales

Student’s that have a question related to incentives will be directed to their ITE Partnership directly.