Paying back the government PGCE bursary Watch

Megwen2323
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I've been accepted to study a PGCE Secondary in MFL and I'm very excited to start. I'll be receiving a student loan plus I qualify for the £26,000 tax-free government bursary.

However, my partner is from Italy and I'm a little worried about the state of education in the UK...
I really want to teach but I'm worried that I might have to pay the £26,000 bursary back if a) I move to Italy (caused by Brexit, the health of my partner's parents, his employment opportunities, etc.) or b) For whatever reason, I simply decide that teaching is not for me and I don't go on to complete the NQT year.
I therefore want to know what happens in terms of the bursary; do I have to pay it back in the above circumstances?
In the terms and conditions, it simply states that you accept the bursary by saying you understand that upon completing your course, you actively seek employment in a teaching post in England, presumably because of the huge shortage of teachers right now.

Perhaps I'm being rather dystopian about things (can you blame me?!) but I'm worried that the bursary will be like figurative handcuffs and I will somehow be forced to stay in the UK and forced to stay in teaching, or at the very least be left bankrupt by trying to pay the debt back.

Any help/reassurance will be much appreciated!
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sophia5892
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I did an MFL PGCE in 2017/18 and didn’t seek a teaching job. I was honest about this from January of my PGCE year when we had tutor meetings about starting to look for jobs etc.
I still got my bursary and no mention of paying it back. The T&Cs said similar so I had the same concern before the PGCE - doesn’t sound like the wording has changed.
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SarcAndSpark
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The bursary clause has no teeth- I know people who've finished the PGCE this year and are going to teach in other (non-EU) countries or not going to teach at all, and they get to keep their bursary. I also know someone who's going to teach in an EU country following their NQT year, again, they get to keep the bursary.

The only people I've known who've been asked to repay any bursary are those who quit the PGCE at the start of the year. If they quit part way through a month that the bursary had been paid for, they were required to pay back the bursary for the time they weren't on the PGCE- so worst case scenario if you quit right at the start of a month, you'd have to pay back £2,600. The uni I was at was willing to arrange payment plans for people in this situation too, so they didn't have to pay it back all at once.

In practice, SFE are also pretty ineffective at reclaiming any student debt from those living outside of the UK.
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