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Overview

The Welsh Ministers have powers under sections 14 to 17 of the Education Act 2002 to provide financial assistance, or to make arrangements for the giving of financial assistance, to any person for or in connection with enabling any person to receive any training for teachers or for non-teaching staff; or for the promotion of the recruitment or retention of teachers or non-teaching staff.

This guidance covers teacher training incentive grants available for eligible students who start full time pre-service PGCE (FE) initial teacher education courses leading to a qualification to teach further education (“PGCE (FE) incentives”). It applies in relation to eligible students in Wales who start such courses between 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2022.

The guidance is issued by the Welsh Ministers and provides information on PGCE (FE) incentives and outlines the funding available, grant eligibility and how payments will be made. It does not cover every aspect; full information on eligibility and conditions are set out below. These guidance notes should be read as a whole for confirmation of grant eligibility.

This guidance does not cover incentives offered on initial teacher education courses which lead to Qualified Teacher Status.

Students applying for a grant

ITE Partnerships are responsible for administering and assessing eligibility of students for incentive grants on behalf of the Welsh Ministers.

Students can only claim an incentive grant if they:

  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • have made an application by completing the relevant declaration forms

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.

PGCE (FE) Initial Teacher Education Providers responsibilities for grant administration

PGCE (FE) initial teacher education providers are responsible for:

  • identifying students that meet the eligibility criteria
  • providing eligible students with access to the declaration forms at the start of the ITE programme
  • ensuring students understand the terms of the grant
  • collecting all signed declaration forms and returning, in a secure manner, all declaration forms to Welsh Government
  • completing termly claim forms
  • administering grant payments to students
  • dealing with student queries in relation to the grant

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 post-16workforcedevlopment@gov.wales

Grant eligibility

To be eligible for a PGCE (FE) incentive, students:-

  1. must on entry to the course hold a first degree (this does not include a foundation degree) of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  2. must qualify for support under regulations made under section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 currently in force as they apply to the course
  3. must not be in any of the following categories of persons who are not entitled to receive the training grant:
    • students who completed a course of initial teacher training at further education level before 1 September 2021
    • students taking a non-postgraduate Certificate in Education (FE)
    • PGCE (FE) students who do not hold a degree on starting the course
    • PGCE (FE) students who study on in-service courses
    • PGCE (FE) students who study part-time
    • anyone who already holds Qualified Teacher Status
    • anyone employed to teach at any further education college or other education institution in any capacity

Grant amount

The incentives will be up to £3,000 (for those studying in specified subjects listed below) or up to £1,000 (for those studying in all other subjects).

Mathematics subjects

Applied Mathematics

General Mathematics

Mathematics and mechanics

Mathematics and statistics

Pure Mathematics

Statistics

Science subjects

Applied Science

Biology

Chemistry

Conservation

Earth science

Ecology

Electronics

Environmental Science

General Science

Geology

Human Biology

Physics

Sports science

Information and Communication Technology

Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Computer Engineers

Computer studies

IT Operations

Welsh

Skills for Life – Literacy and Numeracy

Technology and Engineering

Auto Electricians

Car maintenance

Design and development engineering

Design and Technology

Electrical engineering

Electroplating

Engineering studies

Mechanical engineering

Metal plate engineering

Motor mechanics/engineers

Motor sport mechanisation

Production and process engineering

Refrigeration engineering

Resistant Materials Technology

Tool making and fitting

Tyre, exhaust and windscreen fitting

Vehicle and spray painting

Vehicle bodybuilding and airing

Welding and fabrication

Grant payments

When payments should be made to students

Grants will be paid termly in three instalments, December, March and June of the academic year of study.

Providers will decide the exact dates of payments. They should ensure that payments are made before the last working day of the month. In June this will be the  last working day of June or, if earlier, the week the programme finishes.

Payments should only be made to those students who are attending the programme on the date of payment. If any student has withdrawn or deferred (suspended) a programme prior to the payment date, payment should not be made.

What grants should be paid

PGCE (FE) grant payments

Incentive grant amount

Autumn payment to be paid in December

Spring payment to be paid in March

Summer and final payment to be paid in June

£3,000

£900

£900

£1200

£1,000

£300

£300

£400

If a student eligible for the PGCE (FE) incentive, but has also received:

  1. some or all of a PGCE (FE) incentive under this or any previous scheme in Wales prior to 1 September 2021
  2. at any time any amount of any grant payable in respect of equivalent schemes in England

the payment of PGCE (FE) incentive to which they are entitled will be reduced by the amount of previous grant payments received.

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 Ministers agree otherwise in writing.

How the payment will be paid to PGCE (FE) Initial Teacher Education Providers

Providers must collect declaration forms for each eligible student at the start of each academic year. The declaration contains information that the Welsh Government have indicated is required to administer the scheme and providers must be able share all declarations with Welsh Ministers, in a secure manner, if requested.

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 providers grant payments cannot be made.

Prior to each termly instalment Providers must complete and submit a claim form to the Welsh Ministers to ensure appropriate funds are released. Providers will be informed of the submission dates via the grant agreement letter.

Declaration and claim forms will be issued to Providers directly. If you are a Provider and have any questions related to the payment process, please contact post-16workforcedevelopment@gov.wales

Deferment (suspension), withdrawal and resumptions

If a student defers (suspends) their studies during a term, they will not be eligible to receive that termly payment. However, if a student resumes their studies within the same academic year, they will be entitled to receive the missed terms payment, up to the maximum amount of the incentive. Under these circumstances payment will be made on completion of and in addition to the following terms payment.

Where a student resumes a PGCE FE in a different academic year to when they initially started or deferred, payments will be continue to be made at the same rate (if any) which applied in the academic year the student’s studies initially started, unless the Welsh Ministers agree otherwise in writing. 

Individuals who withdraw from a programme before its completion and are eligible for an incentive grant, will only be entitled to the termly payment(s), where they have completed the term in full.

Recovery of incentive grants

The Welsh Ministers 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 Ministers where:

  1. 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
  2. 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 student submits as part of their claim under the Teacher training incentives in Wales for PGCE (FE) 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. These checks are require to process personal data about you to third party fraud prevention agencies

In certain circumstances Welsh Government may receive your personal information from the providers. A privacy notice laying out how and why we process this information is found at Annex 3.

Frequently asked questions by students

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.

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

Frequently asked questions by ITE partnerships

Which grant amount should be paid?

The student should indicate clearly on their declaration form what subject their placement is focusing on teaching. Please refer to the grant amount section to determine which the student should receive.

What happens if a student withdraws/suspends study?

A student should be removed from a claim as soon as they withdraw from a course. They should only be paid for any term they have completed in full. Please see the Deferment (suspension), withdrawal and resumptions section for more information.

Further questions?

ITE Partnership’s that have a question related to or not covered in this information, please contact post-16workforcedevelopment@gov.wales

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

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