Tuition fees should be waived for trainee teachers, say teacher trainers – who argue students are being dissuaded from becoming teachers by their parents because of fears of debt.
In a joint letter to Damian Hinds, education secretary, school and university teacher training providers say that graduates are now leaving university after having accumulated three years of tuition fee debts at £9,000 a year and significant maintenance loans – deterring them from the prospect of paying for teacher training and supporting themselves through it.
“With a relatively small number of exceptions, even those trainees receiving bursaries will be expected to accumulate more debt to become qualified or, at the very least, forgo the opportunity to embark on alternative salaried careers,” the joint letter from the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, the Chartered College of Teaching and the Teaching Schools Council states.
“We have received reports of people being dissuaded from entering the profession, or being counselled by parents and others from doing so, for this very reason.”
The letter goes on to ask Mr Hinds to consider waiving tuition fees for all those on postgraduate initial teacher education programmes.