Can I claim back my student loan repayments as a teacher?

Overview

You may have seen news reports over the recent years that some teachers are eligible to claim back student loan repayments. This is an initiative launched by the government to improve teacher retention rates in certain subjects.

It is worth bearing in mind that the eligibility criteria is relatively quite narrow depending on the subject taught, local authority taught in and when you completed your initial teaching training course.

In this article, we look at the eligibility criteria, the information you need before applying and how GOV.UK will process your claim.

Am I eligible for student loan repayments?

The GOV.UK website explains you can claim for student loan repayments if you:

  • Taught biology, chemistry, physics, computer science or languages (not including English) during the 2018 to 2019 financial year
  • Taught at a school in an eligible local authority during the 2018 to 2019 financial year – check which places are eligible
  • Are currently employed as a teacher at a state-funded secondary school in England
  • Spent at least 50% of your contracted hours teaching one or more eligible subjects
  • Completed your initial teacher training course in or after the 2013 to 2014 academic year

Before you apply

You will need:

  • The exact amount of student loan you repaid while employed as a teacher during the 2018/19 financial year (get this from your annual student loan statement, your P60 if you only had one employer, or all you payslips from this period)
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your bank account details
  • Your 7-digit teacher reference number – you can get this from your school, the certificate you got when you qualified, or from the teacher qualifications helpdesk. We have also published another article explaining how you can use your teacher reference number to access your teaching qualifications online.
  • The date you completed your initial teacher training
  • Sign-in details for Verify – the government’s secure way of proving who you are, if you do not have a Verify account, you’ll need your passport or photocard driving licence to sign up

Processing the claim

To process the claim GOV.UK will check the information in your application with:

  • The school you are currently employed to teach at
  • The Department for Education’s database of qualified teachers
  • The Teachers’ Pension Service

Your claim payment is taxable. GOV.UK will send some of your personal information to HMRC to ensure the following contributions are met:

  • Income Tax and Employee National Insurance (NIC), which the government pay on your behalf
  • Student loan repayment, which is deducted from your claim payment and credited to your Student Loans Account, if applicable

GOV.UK will send you a breakdown of these payments when we process your claim.

If you have questions about your pay and conditions in school you can contact us for further support and advice.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.