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News and Events


February 2011

Into Teaching event for disabled people  Saturday 19 March

This is a dedicated day for any disabled people who are interested in teaching as a career. Skill is a partner in this event along with the AccessAbility Project at the University of Greenwich and their School of Education.

There will be speakers and workshops and topics will include: life as a disabled teacher; support whilst studying; why diversity is important. There will be a chance to speak to Skill disabled teaching ambassadors individually and an optional library and ICT tour.

The day will be an excellent opportunity for disabled people to explore more about a career in teaching.

The event is free and refreshments and lunch are included. If you would like to book a place please email Emma on by 11th March. The event is being held at Greenwich University - Avery Hill Campus, Avery Hill Park, Eltham.


Teacher training bursary rates announced

Some postgraduate teacher trainees in England and Wales receive a tax-free training bursary paid over the length of their course. On 31st January 2011 the new postgraduate teacher training bursary rates were announced. There have been some significant changes in the bursaries and the current rates are:
Physics                                    £9000
Chemistry                                 £9000
Engineering                               £9000
Maths                                      £9000

Biology                                     £6000
Combined/general sciences          £6000
Modern foreign languages            £6000

All other courses will no longer come with a tax-free bursary.

In addition the funding stream known as 'Golden Hellos' will be abolished for anyone beginning an Initial Teacher Training course from 2011 onwards.


January 2011

Talk to disabled teachers at TDA Train to Teach events

If you are interested in finding out more about a career in teaching, the Training and Development Agency for schools (TDA) is holding free events for prospective teachers in Birmingham, London and Manchester throughout March.

Throughout the day you will be able to:

  • Attend a presentation that will give you general guidance on routes into teaching and the application process
  • Speak to teaching experts and receive one-to-one advice on your training options 
  • Meet initial teacher training (ITT) providers in your region to find out about their courses and entry requirements
  • Talk to current teachers to hear about their first-hand experiences
  • Meet with professional subject associations to hear how they support the teaching of specific subjects in schools

Skill teaching ambassadors will be available at the following Train to Teach events:
Patrick Ryan - Birmingham Saturday 5th
Samantha Wright - London Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March

For more information and to register visit:


December 2010

TDA phone numbers change

The TDA Teaching Information Line has recently changed numbers and has become a freephone service. The TDA provide information on routes into initial teacher training (ITT), qualifications required to undertake ITT, funding, teacher salaries and finding training providers.

The new numbers are:
Freephone: 0800 389 2500 (for English speakers)
Freephone: 0800 085 0971 (for Welsh speakers)
Minicom: 0117 915 8161


November 2010

E-conference launches for disabled teachers and trainee teachers 

The Disabled Teacher Taskforce recently launched an online forum (known as an e-conference) designed to facilitate discussion on how to remove barriers and promote opportunities for disabled people in the teaching profession.

The profession needs to draw on the widest pool of those with the appropriate experience, skills and qualifications likely to become good teachers. While disability in itself shouldn't be a barrier, the DTT, hosted by the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE), acknowledges it can create challenges.

This forum is a vibrant place to read and join in on comments and conversations on topics such as support in school, fitness to teach, disability disclosure.

Skill is actively involved in the e-conference and it is a useful resource for disabled trainee teachers, Initial Teacher Training providers, disabled teachers and schools.


September 2010 

Skill collecting data on 'fitness to teach'

Skill is researching the fitness to teach categories that Occupational Health advisers assign to Initial Teacher Training candidates. We are writing to all the ITT providers in England to request the following data in relation to the 2009/10 academic year.

   A. The number of candidates they assessed as 'being fit to teach, in good health and free from conditions which interfere with their efficiency in teaching'.

   B. The number of candidates assessed as 'having health conditions which interfere with their efficiency to some extent', but who were still overall fit to teach. This may include candidates with disabilities where reasonable adjustments could be made.

   C. The number of candidates that were assessed as being 'unfit' for the teaching profession.

The fitness assessment is made by Occupational Health Advisers who work with ITT providers. It is usually based on the candidate's own health declaration using a questionnaire. It may also take account of health examinations or referrals for specialist medical advice.

Skill plans to investigate ways the process can be changed to remove unnecessary barriers to disabled people entering the profession.


Degree plan for teachers criticised

Government proposals to raise the bar for trainee teachers in England could worsen the shortage of science and maths teachers, suggests a report by Buckingham University.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said the government should only pay to train graduates as teachers if they have at least a 2.2.

However, the Good Teacher Training Guide 2010 suggests that raising entrance requirements would substantially reduce the intakes to subjects such as maths, physics, chemistry and languages - courses which already struggle to fill places.


New Teachers website

TES New Teachers is a new website offering news, advice and inspiration for those who are entering the teaching profession. The site has lots of free teaching tips and articles, resources to download and tools to help you to find a new job.


August 2010 

BBC School Season

The BBC is showing a special series of programmes focusing on education, as part of their School Season.


PGCE Survival Guide

This is a new free e-book created to support those who are about to start PGCE teacher-training courses.

The PGCE survival guide site explains more about the book:

"It's full of useful and practical, hints, tips and advice from recent PGCE graduates and more experienced teachers covering every element of teacher training, from your first day at university, through the hectic world of placements to finding a job."


New funding arrangements for secondary teacher training

For trainees starting secondary postgraduate ITT courses in science subjects, modern languages, music or religious education after 1 August 2010, the training bursaries will be reduced from £9,000 to £6,000. Bursaries for secondary postgraduate ITT courses in art and design, business studies, dance, drama, history, physical education, and non-priority subjects will be reduced from £6,000 to £4,000.

Subject knowledge enhancement courses have been increased to help increase the pool of individuals eligible to train as teachers in priority subjects such as chemistry, mathematics and physics. The courses can help to top up your knowledge in areas that would be difficult to address on your own. Most courses are the equivalent of two weeks' study, but some are longer. If you are applying for a PGCE, you can mention in your application that you are interested in doing a subject knowledge enhancement course.


July 2010  

£4m grant to boost graduate teacher numbers

A charity that attracts top graduates to teach in England's most challenging schools is to double the number it recruits. A £4m government grant will enable Teach First to place high-flying graduates in a third of the toughest, inner city classrooms, it is hoped. The charity aims to inspire pupils from poor backgrounds to achieve, as well as to provide good teachers. This year Teach First placed 560 top graduates as teachers in schools. The grant will allow more than 1,140 to be recruited in 2013-14.


Coalition plans for education

TeachersTV has produced a video report which explains the new developments in education since the formation of the coalition government.

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