7. What assessment he has made of the effects of the withdrawal of bursary funding on PGCE students who commenced their courses in September. (74424)
All PGCE students can apply for the same student support as undergraduate students, including maintenance loans and means-tested grants. As an additional recruitment incentive, the Department pays bursaries. These are adjusted regularly according to the size of the pool of potential teachers and the demand from schools for new teachers. For certain subjects we have therefore removed the bursaries for 2011-12. Other subjects, including maths, foreign languages and sciences, attract bursaries of up to £9,000.
The hon. Lady is right. We will have recruitment numbers to courses in November, when the Training and Development Agency for Schools has completed its census of training providers. That will include the figures for initial teacher training, but it looks as though we will have high numbers of quality applicants in all subjects. The latest evidence suggests that this will be another strong year for recruitment, and that we are on course for the best year ever in the recruitment of physics and chemistry trainees in particular.