School Direct programme – Fees and Funding for Teacher Training Overview 2018/19

School Direct is a one year, school led, teacher training programme with two distinct routes: Salaried and Tuition Fee (unsalaried).

Salaried route

Graduates must generally have 3 years work experience (some exceptions for high priority subjects):

RegionSalary Amount
National                          £16,626
Inner London£20,909
Outer London£19,749
London fringe£17,718

Unsalaried (Tuition Fee) route

Open to all graduates. Funded from fees (£9,000) paid directly by the trainee or the Student Loans Company. Scholarships and bursaries are available according to subject and degree class:

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SubjectScholarship Amount
Physics – Institute of Physics£28,000
Maths – The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications         £22,000
Chemistry – The Royal Society of Chemistry£28,000
Languages – British Council in partnership with language associations£28,000
Geography– Royal Geographic Society (with IBG)£28,000

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must have a 1st class or 2:1 degree, a high level of subject knowledge and excellent potential to teach. Applicants should apply for a teacher training scholarship with the appropriate body. Trainees awarded a scholarship cannot receive a bursary. However, trainees who are not awarded a scholarship will continue to be eligible for a standard bursary.


       1st or PhD2:1 or Master’s2:2
Physics £26,000£26,000£26,000
Chemistry   £26,000£26,000£26,000

* Secondary Mathematics trainees will receive two additional early-career payments of £5,000 each in their 3rd and 5th year of teaching, if they have taught in a state-funded school since completing their training.

All Teaching London Lead and partner schools recruiting Tuition Fee trainees are willing, where appropriate, to offer financial support to trainees to help meet the costs of their training.  

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Trainee Finance 2018/19

The main types of finance available are Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans – which have to be paid back. The level of funding available has been increased and the ability to repay depends on one’s income after graduation. This funding is independent of the bursary available to trainees.

Loans and grants for tuition and living costs.

Government funding is assessed by Student Finance England, part of the Student Loans Company.

Sources of funding for teacher training:

  1. Tuition fee loan: this covers the entire amount of tuition fees payable. The amount does not depend on household income and is paid direct by the Student Loans Company to the provider. It is available to anyone of any age.
  2. Maintenance loan (living cost loans): also from the Student Loans Company –to help cover day-to-day cost of living, such as food, rent and travel. These loans are usually paid in three instalments (one at the start of each term) directly into a bank account. The amount trainees can apply for depends on whether they study in London or elsewhere in the UK.
Where you live & StudyMaintenance Loan
Living at homeUp to £6,904pa
Living away from home and studying outside of LondonUp to £8,200pa
Living away from home and studying in LondonUp to £10,702pa

The loan trainees can get is dictated by two elements:

  • The Guaranteed element: Up to 65% of the maximum living cost loan is available to all eligible trainees in 2016 regardless of their household income and
  • The Income Assessed element: The remainder is means tested depending on your and your partner’s residual income (i.e. gross income minus disregards for pension contributions and for children living with you).

Disabled Trainees’ Allowances (DSAs) are grants to help pay the extra essential costs trainees may have as a direct result of their disability, including a mental-health condition, or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. These don’t have to be paid back and don’t depend on household income.

So, for a trainee in London, the loan support available could be as follows:

Training cost contribution by school (max)9,000.00pa
Maintenance loan (max)10,702.00pa
Parents’ Learning Allowance  (max)  1,573.00pa
Childcare Grant/Working Tax Credit (max)266.15 per wk
Adult Dependants’ Grant  (max)  2,757.00pa

In addition, trainees may be eligible for Council Tax Benefit and subsidised travel via TfL trainee travel scheme.  See below for a table of Maintenance Loan funding.

Sources of funding for teacher training and further information on Student Finance:

Department for Education 

Student Loan Company 

Trainee finance for 25+ year olds and independent trainees in England:

Money Savings Expert – Mature Student’s Guide

Money Savings Expert – on Student Loans and Tuition Fee Changes