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Incentives to attract new Biology teachers as 50% more future secondary teachers accept training places

The Welsh Government will today announce that increased incentives will be offered to attract more Biology teachers from next year. In the last five years, Biology has fallen into the bottom five subjects for the number of applications per teacher post.

Trainee Biology PGCE teachers will be able to access additional support of up to £20,000, for graduates with a first class or a Master’s degree. Other subjects which attract the highest incentives include Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Welsh.

The Iaith Athrawon Yfory incentive scheme, for Welsh-medium teachers, will also continue, offering incentives of up to £5,000, meaning trainee teachers can receive up to £25,000 in total.

Initial indications of recruitment to full time Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes show that over 200 more students have accepted offers to study to become secondary teachers this year. There were 690 acceptances of places in August 2020, compared to 449 in August 2019.

The Welsh Government will also confirm pay increases for teachers today, backdated to 1 September, with rises of at least 2.75% for all teachers. The Welsh Government will provide over £5.5 million to local authorities to support the cost of the pay award this year.

Speaking ahead of a policy briefing on teacher recruitment and retention today, the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, said: 

Priority subject incentive schemes help attract high quality professionals to the teaching workforce. I’m pleased to be able to continue the incentives and raise the maximum support to attract new Biology teachers, to respond to the increased demand.

I’m also pleased that indications are that recruitment to our full time training programmes has increased by 200 this year, strengthening our teacher workforce in Wales further.

I would also like to confirm today the uplift of pay to reward our highly skilled and hardworking teachers in Wales. We have continued to diverge from the proposals in England by awarding teachers in Wales higher starting pay and introducing some key changes, such as experience-based pay progression and national statutory pay scales. This will help promote teaching as a profession of choice for graduates and career changers.

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