Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing funding to help support the recruitment and retention of staff in further education colleges.
The department is making significant investments to support the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers. The Spending Review 2021 made an extra £1.6 billion available for 16-19 education in the 2024/25 financial year, compared with 2021/22. We are investing £125 million of available funds in the 2023/24 financial year for 16-19 education to increase the national funding rate by 2.2% from £4,542 to £4,642, and boost specific programme cost weightings by 10%, to support the additional costs of recruiting and retaining teachers in construction, manufacturing, engineering, and digital subject areas.
The department is supporting teacher recruitment in the sector through a national campaign to encourage industry professionals to become further education (FE) teachers. We have supported the creation of new, high-quality routes into FE teaching, including a revised Level 5 Learning and Skills Teacher apprenticeship for those planning to work in the FE sector. We are providing bursaries worth up to £29,000 each, tax free, to support FE teacher training in priority subject areas for the 2023/24 academic year.
Our Taking Teaching Further (TTF) programme has supported around 1,000 people to retrain as FE teachers since it launched in 2018. In addition, the department is piloting a new £6,000 financial incentive for TTF recruits teaching in some of the most hard-to-fill subject areas, including digital, construction and the built environment, engineering and manufacturing, and maths.