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:)Mature PGCE student - please help!

in Student MoneySaving
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VickyA_2VickyA_2 Forumite
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Hi there,

I'm going to be starting a PGCE in September - but the college is 40 miles away from where I'll be living with my boyfriend. We decided to stay in the same area as we are now because if we moved any closer to the college he'd have to travel to work every day, whereas at least I only have to travel during term time.

It'll be 3 years since I was last at uni. Will I still be able to get an NUS card? Will I still qualify for the £6k grant because I'm living with my partner? Has anyone done this before and survived it? To add to the financial worries, I'm in the process of buying a new car - because if I'd kept my current car then it would cost more to run and maintain than my new one.

We're already trying to cut back on the food that we buy - no more takeaways etc. However, after having worked for 3 years I've got used to spending!

I suppose I need reassurance that I'm not the only one in this situation - however, I'm probably going to be the only student teacher doing an 80 mile round trip every day!

I look forward to hearing from you. :)
Sealed Pot Challenge #021 #8 975.71 #9 £881.44 #10 £961.13 #11 £782.13 #12 £741.83 #13 £2135.22 #14 £895.53 declared
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Replies

  • FranFran Forumite
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    I would suggest getting in contact with the college and finding out what help is available. Perhaps you could get some help from the Access Funds if your boyfriend isn't on a high wage (I'm not sure exactly what they cover but the college would know). As far as I understand it if you are a student you can have a NUS card, you can get cheap travel with that - would you be able to go by train or coach to college (would it be any cheaper than car)? If you do an internet search I 'm sure you could find out some more information about funding etc.
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • VickyA_2VickyA_2 Forumite
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    Thanks. I've already looked into the train thing, but it would take twice as long as by road and mean going into and then out of London!!!

    Your suggestions were very sensible - I'm just in a "lack of money" panic!

    Thanks very much.
    Sealed Pot Challenge #021 #8 975.71 #9 £881.44 #10 £961.13 #11 £782.13 #12 £741.83 #13 £2135.22 #14 £895.53 declared
  • mistymisty Forumite
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    Hi
    As a mature student you are entitled to a loan even if you have a partner etc. You will be entitled some no matter what and the higher amount (the 6k) is means tested (still worth applying). you need to apply through your local LEA but all the info you need should be on the student loans website http://www.slc.co.uk/ Plus at the moment if you intend to work in Secondary the government will pay off your loan for you if you intend to teach a shortage subject "Repayment of student loans for teachers of shortage subjects
    This page sets out the basic details of the Repayment of Teachers' Loans (RTL) Scheme. To determine whether you are eligible please read the details below.

    The RTL Scheme allows the government to repay, over time, the student loans of newly qualified teachers[1] of specified shortage subjects in both schools and further education (FE) in England and Wales. The scheme will initially operate as a pilot for teachers beginning in the academic years 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05.

    You will be eligible for the pilot, provided you meet all of the following criteria (paragraphs a) to h) below relate to school teachers and paragraphs i) to q) to those in FE):
    the full details can be found at this address
    http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/professionaldevelopment/careers/becomingateacher/teachersloans/
    Additionally, there is a scheme called a Golden Hello which pays you upto £4,000 when you go into teaching a shortage subject again conditions apply but they aren't impossible to achieve. This info isn't just applicable to FE but secondary as well. Golden Hellos for Teachers of FE
    Golden Hellos' are available to teachers who started teaching in September 2001 onwards, have completed their first year of teaching and are in their second year of teaching and contracted for a further term or more. They provide a one-off payment of up to £4,000 to new teachers in designated shortage subject areas in England. The initiative is administered by the Learning and Skills Council. http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/professionaldevelopment/careers/post16/fegoldenhellos/
    Teachernet and Learning and Skills Council are both really useful sites with a lot of info.
    Finally, even if there is nobody travelling as far as you each day -others may be travelling part of the way and lift with a contribution towards petrol is a good exchange. Your uni will probably have a notice board or website to advertise a car share etc.
    Good Luck
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    A large proportion of the PGCE course is spent on practice in school. If you inform the institution where you are based of you travel problems you may find that they can place you in a school nearer to your home.

    Lots of information on funding can be found at
    http://www.useyourheadteach.gov.uk/training/about_teacher_training/funding_while_training.html
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    My wife did PGCE last year and also had 80 mile round trip to Uni. However much of time was spent on teaching practise at local schools. You should be able to get a 25% reduction in your council tax for duration of course and also be able to claim travelling expenses, based on cost of using public transport. We got nearly £1k.

    Good Luck! :D
  • savvysavvy Forumite
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    Don't rely too much on the £4000 Golden Hello award! I lost £1000 to the taxman and a further £500 to the Student Loans Company! Thought I could pay off a substantial amount of credit card debt.......................as usual my plans when down the pan! :-/ :-/ And the form is a nightmare to fill out.................BEWARE!!
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  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    Don't panic - I gave up a very well paid job with company car, pension, the works to go to uni last September and it's the best thing I have done - I'm 36. Luckily I don't have a journey like yours but you will get help from the access fund - they can't give money away fast enough to 'mature students'. As far as a student loan goes, you should be contacting the LEA where you live (not where the college/uni is) asap - or you can now apply online. Your partner's income will be taken into consideration. You can opt go have a means tested loan, or not. We didn't bother and took the basic which last year was £1960. for next year I think it is £2400 ish and is paid in 3 instalments. My best money saving tip is not to shop in supermarkets - go to the butcher, the greengrocer & the local bakers instead - we have cut our weekly food bill from about £70 to £25 and we certainly are not missing out - we have even lost weight as we are eating more fresh stuff. Good Luck you're doing the right thing!
  • Hi Vicky A

    How's the pgce experience going, have you started?

    Considering doing a pgce starting next year and would appreciate any feedback.

    All the best
  • savvysavvy Forumite
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    When you go into teaching you might be able to claim the Teachers Pay Initiative.........check it out.
    Honorary Northern Bird bestowed by Anselm
    I'm a Board Guide and volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly on Special Occasions, Green/Ethical, Motoring/Overseas/UK Travel & Flood boards, it's not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Report inappropriate or illegal posts to [email protected]. Views are MINE & not official MSE ones ;)
  • I did the PGCE last year, as long as your course is recognised you'll receive the £6000, doesn't matter if you're single/married or what your financial situation is as this isn't means tested. You get it paid into your bank at £600 pm from October for 10 months. You can also get a student loan.

    I highly recommend getting a diesel car, we save so much money now we have one!

    Like the others said, you'll be able to do your placement nearer your home.

    Good luck with it, oh and look on ebay for your books, I saved a small fortune!
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