Scotland expands STEM bursary scheme

Scotland’s STEM Bursary Scheme is being expanded this year to encourage more people to train as secondary school teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The increase means that 150 career changers will be now able to apply for the £20,000 bursary to support them while training, to fill the high-demand teaching roles in STEM subjects. The scheme’s budget is also being increased from £2 million to £3 million.

Last year, Home Economics was included in the subjects available for the first time, while the other STEM subjects in most demand are Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Technical Education and Computing Science.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Developing STEM skills is vital for our future economy, and having great STEM teachers who are enthusiastic about their subjects will inspire the next generation of the Scottish workforce. The success of the 2019-20 scheme demonstrates that teaching is recognised as an attractive profession, and we want to continue to make it more accessible to those considering a career change to become teachers. These bursaries continue to provide financial help, making it easier for enthusiastic career changers to take that step into a rewarding and exciting new career, sharing their passion and expertise with young people.”

To be eligible to apply for the 2019-20 scheme, candidates must: have been in employment for at least 36 months out of the last 60 months, including career breaks; hold a 2.1 degree or meet the minimum ITE entry requirement with a relevant masters in their subject area; have Higher English and National 5/credit level Maths, or equivalent; and be at least 36 months away from full-time education unless they have completed a paid PhD which includes teaching experience.

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