University of Brighton’s trainee Colin Grimes, a former Aerospace Systems Manager in the RAF who is now a Year 4 teacher in Northumberland, welcomed the news:
“Studying for a degree in education while being supported financially opened up exciting new career choices for me. Without this kind of support many candidates would not have access to career opportunities of this kind.
“So it’s great news that ex-military personnel will now be offered even more opportunities to train for a valuable and stimulating second career while still being able to support their families.”
From 2019 the Troops to Teachers programme will cease and the University of Brighton will deliver a new undergraduate ITT programme that will be open to service-leavers.
And from September this year, other universities nationwide may offer the new incentive to veterans who have left full-time employment in the services in the last five years, or anyone leaving before training begins.
The bursaries will help ex-servicemen and women – who have spent their careers honing the discipline, motivation and unique skills needed to become great teachers – make the transition to the classroom where they can share their expertise with the next generation.
The programme has been developed as part of the Department for Education’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant – the nation’s promise to those who serve or who have served – and will be offered on priority undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, computing, maths or modern foreign languages.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Academic standards are rising, with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools and a record 15,500 more teachers than in 2010. We want this trend to continue and to explore every opportunity to attract the best and brightest into teaching.
“Our ex-servicemen and women – who have already contributed so much to our country – have a wealth of experience and expertise that can be shared in the classroom, teaching pupils the knowledge they need to succeed alongside vital skills, such as leadership and self-discipline.”