Tories plan to pay off science students’ loans

The Conservatives have announced that they plan to tackle shortages of maths and science teachers by paying off their student loans.

Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said that, should they win the next general election, the Tories would pay off the student loans of those graduating with a first or 2:1 degree, providing they stay in teaching. He estimated that the initiative could save up to £40,000 per person over a lifetime.

The government already offers ‘golden hello’ bursaries to graduates training to teach maths, science, engineering and information and communications technology (ICT) in England. Grants to train as biology or general science teachers are being cut from £9,000 to £6,000.

The Conservatives expect to finance the payments through cost-cutting at the Training and Development Agency, responsible for teacher training, according to the BBC.

The Tories also claimed the scheme will raise the status of teaching and provide “a major financial incentive” to potential science teachers.

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