Bigger bursaries and scholarships to attract more top graduates into chemistry teaching

17 October 2013

The Government has today announced prestigious new scholarships and bursaries to attract more high-quality graduates into teaching chemistry, led by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

Schools Minister David Laws said more scholarships and bursaries would be available to help recruit the most talented graduates with the potential to be brilliant teachers in key subjects. This would help raise standards in schools and ensure all children were given a good education.

This year up to 180 scholarships are available to the most talented trainee chemistry teachers - an increase from 130 scholarships last year. They are worth 25,000 - an increase of 5,000 from last year.

There will also be bursaries available to top chemistry graduates applying to train as chemistry teachers. 

The Royal Society of Chemistry offers additional benefits to successful scholars. This includes RSC membership and access to national and regional support networks, including mentoring. 

The Government introduced scholarships in 2011. Since then, 425 high-quality graduates in maths, physics, chemistry and computing have been attracted to teaching through the scheme. A further 680 teacher training scholarships will be available for trainees starting in 2014/15. 

The following change to chemistry scholarships is being introduced for 2014/15:

  • Scholarships for graduates training to teach chemistry with a 2:1 or better will increase from 20,000 to 25,000. The scholarship is paid instead of the standard bursary.    

The following chemistry bursaries will continue at the same level as in 2013/14:

  • Graduates training to teach chemistry with a first will continue to receive bursaries worth 20,000.
  • Graduates training to teach chemistry with a 2:1 will continue to receive 15,000, while those with a 2:2 will continue to receive 12,000.    

David Laws said: "We want to recruit the most talented graduates with the potential to be brilliant teachers in key subjects. The expansion of the scholarships and bursaries schemes will help us to attract these graduates into teaching - ensuring that all children get the education they deserve."  

Dr Robert Parker, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: "The scholarships we awarded last year have been a great success, with excellent feedback from the trainees on the learning and confidence they have gained as chemistry teachers, and the support they have received through the scheme.

"The Royal Society of Chemistry is committed to ensuring that students get the best chemistry education. To achieve this, we need to increase the number of chemistry-qualified teachers who teach the subject, who can engage and inspire students with their enthusiasm and confidence in their subject. 

"To ensure we have the scientists we will need in the future - to deliver excellent research that will drive growth and solve challenges from energy and climate change to new healthcare solutions - we need to start with inspirational teaching. Many of today's great scientists will tell you that they were inspired by a science teacher at school.

"But the best chemistry teachers aren't just vital for providing the next generation of chemical scientists. We need scientifically literate young people in all walks of life to increase Britain's industrial and commercial competitiveness in the global market."  

Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: "Teaching is a great career - and it is essential that we recruit brilliant graduates to teach the future generation of leading mathematicians, scientists, designers and linguists. 

"Scholarships and bursaries will help recruit the best, and I am delighted we are expanding these excellent awards, giving more top graduates the opportunity to become teachers."

Related Link

RSC Teacher Training Scholarships

25,000 scholarship to become a chemistry teacher

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