The first round of successful bids to the Government's new £2 million scholarship scheme for teachers has been announced by ministers.
The National Scholarship Fund for Teachers, announced earlier in the year, was set up to help existing teachers in England to develop their skills and deepen their subject knowledge.
The coalition Government said it wanted to develop a strong culture of professional development where more teachers acquire postgraduate qualifications and make further academic progress.
Almost 2,000 teachers applied for the scheme, offering scholarships worth up to £3,500 each, with 671 being successful.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "These scholarships have been awarded to teachers who have the potential to make a significant contribution to the country's intellectual heritage through the acquisition of deeper subject knowledge.
"Nothing is more important for raising standards in our schools than ensuring that we have more great teachers. These scholarships, alongside our other reforms to improve teacher recruitment and training, will elevate the status of the teaching profession."
The scheme is open to all qualified teachers.
The maximum scholarship value is £3,500 but the value of each award varies depending on the type of activity funded. Around £2 million has been allocated for 2011/12 and similar future funding is expected.
Brian Lamb, chairman of the Lamb Inquiry and Achievement for All, said: "It is crucial that children with SEN (special educational needs), who have some of the most complex needs and challenges, are taught by teachers with the expertise and professional skills to match this challenge."
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