In 2017, 35,800 qualified teachers left UK schools for reasons other than retirement. At the same time, there have been signs of a recruitment shortage in secondary schools since 2012, and the number of secondary school pupils is expected to rise by 500,000 over the next eight years. For these reasons it’s understandable that the government wants to take steps to increase teacher retention, and this policy is one such step.
In October 2017, former Education Secretary Justine Greening announced that 25 areas across England had been selected to test reimbursement of student loan repayments for science and modern foreign languages teachers in the early years of their careers. The pilot was confirmed in April 2018, in the Teacher Recruitment Bulletin of the Department for Education. The application process for eligible teachers will open in September 2019, and you can check the guidelines here.
Reimbursement of teachers’ student loan repayments is about to be tested in 25 areas in England, so it is ‘in progress’. However, while the manifesto pledge refers to “new teachers” in general, the trial will target science and language teachers only. The job will be ‘done’ when the trial becomes an official policy extended to new teachers in general. Follow this policy for updates.