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Overview

The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Priority Subject Incentive Scheme is a legal scheme made by the Welsh Ministers. The scheme makes provision for eligible students who undertake a postgraduate ITE programme in specified subjects (priority subjects) to access this incentive.

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

This guidance relates to the 2022 to 2023 academic year and preceding years. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the legal scheme related to the year of study which sets out the statutory requirements of the scheme.

2023 to 2024 academic year

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Priority Subject incentive scheme 2023 (“the Scheme”) has not yet been made by the Welsh Ministers.

The 2023 Scheme will come into effect on 1 September 2023 for students in Wales who, between 1 September 2023 and 31 August 2024, start ITE programmes leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in specified subjects.

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. 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.

Previous schemes

Initial Teacher Education Priority subject incentive: guidance for student’s 2021 and previous years.

Who is eligible for the ITE Priority Subject incentive?

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 eligible programmes. The legal scheme sets out the statutory requirements of the scheme please refer to the scheme linked to the year of study.

Programme eligibility

An eligible programme is a secondary postgraduate ITE programme specialising in a priority subject in Wales leading to QTS (on award of QTS).

Priority Subjects

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

This list covers academic years 2022 to 2023 and 2022 and 2024.

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.  If a student requires advice they should speak to their ITE Partnership.  

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

Grant 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 of one academic year but prior to 1 September of the following academic year
  • 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 Newly Qualified Teacher (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

ITE priority subject grants may not be paid to students who have been accepted onto an accredited ITE programme after the intake target for that programme has been reached. Students should seek confirmation from their ITE Partnership that they are not affected by this.

What grant is available and when payments are made

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

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:

  • £6,000 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.
  • £3,000 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:

  • £3,000 in January following completion of the first term of their PGCE
  • £3,000 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.
  • £3,000 on successful completion of Induction in Wales.

*Where a student is assessed by a resubmission exam board , payments will be made prior to 31 December.

How payments will be paid

ITE priority subject grants are administered on behalf of the Welsh Government by ITE Partnerships and the Education Workforce Council (EWC). If you would like to check your eligibility, apply for a grant or have any queries relating to these grants, please contact your ITE partnership.

Eligible students will receive in-programme and QTS payments from their ITE Partnerships. The final incentive payment will be made by the EWC following successful completion of Induction and award of an Induction certificate.    

ITE partnerships will make students aware of their eligibility to claim this incentive and will provide each eligible student with access to guidance on the process and to claim documentation. The claim documents ask students to confirm that they have read and understood the information contained on these webpages. If this confirmation is not received grant payment cannot be made.

All claim documents submitted to ITE Partnerships will be shared with the Welsh Government and the EWC to enable payments to be made.

Students who started their ITE programme prior to September 2022 and are returning to complete their programme between 1st September 2022 and 31st August 2023 should refer to the Deferment (suspension), withdrawal and resumptions section of this guidance.

Student Registration for the ITE Priority Subject incentive

ITE partnerships will identify students who meet the eligibility criteria and will provide eligible students with an Incentives Registration Form to sign at the start of their ITE programme. This confirms eligibility and enables payments to be made under this scheme.

The Incentive Registration Form will be shared with ITE partnerships, Welsh Government and the EWC.

In-programme Payments

Full-time eligible students will receive one in-programme payment. This will be paid on completion of the first term providing they are continuing their ITE programme.  

Part-time eligible students will receive two in-programme payments. They will be paid on completion of the first term and on completion of the first term of their second year providing they are continuing their ITE programme.

Students ITE partnership are responsible for making the in-programme payments to students in January and will determine the exact payment date. Any issues should be directed to them.  

It is the student’s responsibility to check with their ITE Partnership to ensure they are eligible to claim this grant.

QTS payment

The QTS payment for all eligible students will be paid following completion of an eligible postgraduate ITE programme in Wales leading to QTS (on award of QTS).

Student’s ITE Partnership are responsible for making the QTS payments and will determine the exact payment date. Any issues should be directed to them.

Students who fail to achieve QTS will not be entitled to receive the QTS payment. It is the student’s responsibility to check with their ITE provider to ensure they are eligible to claim this grant.

Final incentive payment

The final incentive payment for all eligible NQTs will be made on successful completion of their Induction period at a maintained school in Wales and award of an Induction certificate. The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is responsible for making this payment.

The EWC will contact students during their Induction period to ensure they have all relevant details to process this grant payment. 

The final incentive payment cannot be claimed unless the eligible student has successfully claimed and received all previous payments under this incentive scheme. 

The EWC are responsible for making the final incentive payment and will determine the exact payment date. Any issues should be directed to professionaldevelopment@ewc.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.

If a student resumes an ITE programme they will need to complete a Deferment and Resumptions Form. This form will be provided by ITE Partnerships and shared with Welsh Government and the EWC. Any payments made to students who resume an ITE programme will take into account any payments previously received.

Returning to an ITE programme in academic year 2022 to 2023

Students who started their ITE programme prior to September 2022 and are returning to complete their programme between 1st September 2022 and 31st August 2023 should refer to the terms set out in Initial Teacher Education priority subject incentives: guidance for students 2021 and previous years. The grant amount, degree classifications, terms and conditions and payment structure will remain the same and eligible students will continue to be paid termly payments to August 2023 (minus any payments already received).

Students who started an ITE programme prior to September 2022 and return after September 2023 will revert to the payment structure as set out in this guidance (termly payments will no longer be made). The total incentive amount will remain as per amounts set out under the Initial Teacher Education priority subject incentives: guidance for students 2021 and previous years, minus ay payments already received.  

In-programme payments 2022

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

Data Protection and Freedom of Information

Information which students submit 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”).

In submitting this information students 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 (PN00000807) and our 'Privacy notice: Welsh Government grants'.

Other ITE incentive grants available

The Welsh Government provides two incentive schemes that are available to students. ITE partnerships will work with their students to help identify students who meet the individual eligibility criteria for each scheme. An Incentives Registration Form will need to be completed for each scheme. This confirms eligibility and enables payments to be made under the relevant scheme. In some cases a student maybe eligible for both schemes.

Frequently asked questions

Is the incentive grant taxable?

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes. Incentive grants are not normally taxable for full-time students, however, students should seek advice from HMRC on their individual circumstances. Additional advice should be sought in relation to the final incentive payment.

The final incentive payment may be taxable for those individuals in employment.

What will be the effect of the incentive grant on other student support?

An incentive grant is not considered part of your income for student finance provisions based on household income. Therefore they should not be included when working out your taxable unearned income, however students should seek advice from their student finance provider on their individual circumstances.

What will be the effect of the incentive grant 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.

Will the incentive grant trigger student loan repayments?

No, not if you are undertaking a full-time programme. However, if you are undertaking a part-time programme, your liability will depend on whether you are also earning a salary (through work not related to ITE) that is high enough to trigger student loan repayments.

Loan repayments may be triggered when you have completed your programme, gained QTS and are earning a salary as a teacher.

Will I be entitled to the Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentive grant?

Eligibility to the incentive grants under this scheme does not impact your eligibility for the Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentive grant. It is possible to receive grant funding under both incentive schemes. Further information on our Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentive scheme page.

I started my ITE programme prior to September 2022 and am returning in academic year 2022/23 how will I be paid?

Payments will continue to be paid termly to the completion of an ITE programme in August 2023. Please refer to the guidance for 2021 and previous years.  

However, should you return to an ITE programme after September 2023 you will be paid under the payment structure for the academic year 2023/2024.  

All returners will be required to complete a Deferment and Resumptions form and any payments made will take into account any payments already received.

Further questions

If you are a student and have a question related to or not covered in this guidance, please contact your ITE partnership in the first instance.