ITE art and design bursary campaign continues

NSEAD continues to campaign for fairer treatment of art and design trainee teachers who do not receive bursaries during their teacher training PGCEs.

We have been asking: Why is an ITE bursary offered for music but not for art and design when music has typically recruited more successfully against the TSM? In particular we invited a more substantial justification from the DfE including a call for comparative data to explain this inequity.

In the Nick Gibb’s response, received 15 February 2019, the Minister said that the DfE has to ‘focus on subjects where it is most difficult to attract applicants’. We believe there are discrepancies to the DfE’s argument and using comparative data in our most recent correspondence, 18 April, we explain why.

Our letter states: ‘The DfE provides bursaries for subjects that recruit well against the TSM [Teacher Supply Model]. Of particular note is history, where despite recruiting 101 percent of the 2018-19 TSM target, received an increase in bursary fees from between £4,000-9,000 in 18-19 to £12,000 for 2019-20. For some history trainees this represents a three-fold increase in bursaries.

Furthermore, you argue that a justification for providing music bursaries but not art and design bursaries relates to the fact that, in comparison to art and design, music has seen a decline in recruitment numbers over the last two years. But this argument is immaterial. As the DfE is in charge of setting recruitment figures, you are in a position to increase the TSM targets should you need to recruit more music teachers. And surely you set TSM targets with the aim to achieve 100 per cent recruitment in all subjects? Considering this, and with 27-28 percent year-on-year shortfall in our subject reaching its TSM, why would you reduce opportunity to achieve this target by failing to provide bursaries for art and design trainee teachers?

We understand that difficult decisions must be made, and that the DfE will always provide an argument to justify their decisions, but we have amply demonstrated how discrimination results from your decision regarding the allocation of ITE bursaries. In a 2017 speech to the Music and Drama expo you argued: It is important that all pupils are taught about and have the opportunity to participate in the arts. With respect, if you want to achieve this in relation to art and design it is time to treat our subject equally by investing in art and design recruitment, teachers and our subject.

Considering this, we ask: can you confirm that art and design ITE bursaries are going to be reviewed by the DfE? And if so, when?’

We await a response and will continue to challenge the DfE regarding the inequalities faced by art and design trainee teachers.

10 May 2019