Teachers to be let off paying student loans
TEACHERS are to be let off repaying their student loans to deal with a looming shortage and to help tackle anger about low levels of public sector pay, under plans being drawn up by ministers.
Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, last week unveiled plans for a student loan reimbursement programme for 2,500 science and modern foreign language teachers in the early years of their career.
Under Ms Greening’s plans, which were announced the following day at the Conservative Party conference, a typical teacher in their fifth year of work would benefit by around £540 through the reimbursement scheme, and another £360 a year from an increase in the threshold re- payment. However, officials are hoping to expand the scheme to other subject areas to tackle teacher shortages. The party’s manifesto in June suggested that the loans discount scheme could be expanded to all teachers.
The news came as Sir John Major, the former prime minister, called for changes in “timid” government policies – such as scrapping the “unfair and unforgiving” Universal Credit welfare reforms – to counter Labour attacks.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Sir John warned that the Tories were seen as “heartless” by some because “Right-wing, pro-Brexit reactionaries” controlled the party. Justifying his plea for a big rise in spending, Sir John said the Government’s current “piecemeal, timid, toein-the-water approach” was not brave enough.