How to fund your teacher training

Published 6 November 2020
By Get Into Teaching

Physics teacher explaining the concept of time to pupils on a whiteboard.

All funding amounts below were correct for teacher training courses starting in autumn 2021. Read up to date funding information.

There are plenty of funding options available to support you during your teacher training year. You can access Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans regardless of whether or not you have an existing student loan and you will only begin to repay these once you’re earning more than £27,295.

Extra financial support is available if you’re a parent, have an adult dependant or a disability. This support does not need to be paid back.

And for some subjects, you may qualify for a tax-free bursary or scholarship.

The key to managing financially during your training year is careful planning and preparation. Our expert advisers can help you make a plan and find the best funding options for your circumstances.

I’m doing primary which doesn’t get a bursary but we still get student finance, and if you have children you’ll also be eligible for extra help. I won’t lie to you, it’s a serious struggle for me at the moment as I have a mortgage etc, but no kids. But it’s only one year so if you can find a way I’d go for it. Work out how much you NEED each month and look into the options available. It’ll be difficult for sure, but worth it.

Sophie Helen, Trainee Teacher

Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans

Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans are available regardless of the subject you want to teach or your qualifications.

You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to cover the full cost of your course up to £9,250. Tuition Fee Loans aren’t means-tested so regardless of your household income you should be able to claim the full amount for your course fees, and you won’t have to pay up front.

A Maintenance Loan is available to help with living costs. All eligible trainees will qualify for at least the minimum amount, regardless of household income, and you could receive up to £12,382.

It doesn’t matter if you already have a student loan — you can still apply for both of these loans without seeing your monthly repayments increase. You will only start making repayments when you earn over the threshold.1

Annual tax before income Monthly repayment
Up to £27,295 £0
£28,000 £5
£30,000 £20
£35,000 £58
£40,000 £95

I know the bursaries are a big selling point for some secondary subjects but a lot of people have coped without one. I spent years on my journey to becoming a teacher, going back to college when my children were very small then doing my degree full time and finally my teacher training. I didn’t get a bursary and if I had, it would have been a bonus but a lack of it certainly wouldn’t have stopped me going into teaching. Granted it will be more tricky without the safety net of the bursary but make some calls and do some checks before you give up entirely. Don’t ever let money stand in the way of your dreams. It’s a tough year financially but it’s worth it.

Jacqui Lynne, Teacher

Extra financial support

If you have children, a disability or an adult dependant, you could get:

Student Finance Calculator

You can use the student finance calculator(opens in new window) to estimate Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans and extra funding that may be available.

Please note this calculator is for trainees from England or the European Union (EU) undertaking a new course in the 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022 academic years.

How to apply

Once you’ve accepted your place on a non-salaried teacher training course, you can apply for Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans, Parents’ Learning Allowance, Disabled Students’ Allowance, Childcare Grants and Adult Dependants’ Grant online via Student Finance England(opens in new window) (SFE). Universal Credit is claimed via GOV.UK(opens in new window).

Tax-free bursary or scholarship

Tax-free bursaries or scholarships of up to £26,000 are available for some subjects. Your eligibility, and the amount you can expect to receive, will depend on the subject you choose to teach and your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification.

Find out more about funding your training.

It is doable! I’m doing my primary postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with no bursary. I’m a single parent of a 4yr old boy… I live off maintenance loan and work at weekends… don’t get me wrong its tough but I know it’s only a year and will be all worth it!

Sam Lauren, Trainee Teacher

Further help and support

Our expert advisers can help you to make a plan and find the best funding options for your circumstances. Talk to an adviser by phone, text or email, as often or as little as you need.

  1. If you do not already have a student loan, or you took one out on or after 1 September 2012, you are only required to make repayments when you are earning over £27,295. Your repayments will not increase if you take out a loan for teacher training.

    If you took out a student loan before 1 September 2012, you are only required to make repayments when you are earning over £19,895(opens in new window). Your repayments will not increase if you take out a loan for teacher training.

    The table above shows your monthly repayments if you’ve no previous student loan or if you have a loan taken out from 2012 or later. If you have a student loan from before 2012, your monthly repayments will be different from the above. 

If you're interested in enriching the lives of young people, find out more about how you can become a teacher.