Qualified Schools has launched the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) to help schools recruit, train and retain the best graduates into teaching roles. The TAP handle the whole process, from sourcing, screening and recruiting graduates for shortage subjects (including STEM), supporting schools to access available apprenticeship levy funding and delivering a 1 year programme which guides apprentices towards Qualified Teacher Status.
Teaching Apprenticeships are proving to be very successful in attracting graduates compared to other Initial Teacher Training programmes, which have failed to meet recruitment targets for five years running. They also provide schools with useful benefits, for instance, Inner London schools can access grants up to £17,400 to support the recruitment of graduates to teach subjects with staff shortages. Graduates value Teaching Apprenticeships because they are simple to understand and provide a fee-free, route to achieving Qualified Teacher Status. Trainee teachers will be paid in line with the unqualified teacher salary scale starting at £20,909 in Inner London and £16,626 across the rest of the country, alongside a valuable training package leading to QTS.
According to UCAS figures, applications for teacher training courses fell by one third last year – from 19,330 in December 2016 to just 12,820 in 2017. Schools are also struggling to retain staff, with the National Audit Office figures stating 8% of qualified staff left the profession for reasons other than retirement in 2016. With workforce issues persisting, it is vital that new, simpler routes into teaching are explored and sources of funding are fully utilised.
Given the complex nature of the numerous routes into teaching, the programme provides a simple way for schools to tackle workforce gaps and for talented graduates to enter the profession.
Most academies and local authority maintained schools are impacted by the apprenticeship levy and public sector apprenticeship target, but many are unclear of how to access apprenticeship levy funds available to them. The Teaching Apprenticeship Programme will guide schools through every step, ensuring they access and use funding to hire and train teaching apprentices before it runs outs.
Commenting on the launch, Teaching Apprenticeship Programme Director Neil Gamewell said:
“Data shows us that existing pathways are not doing enough to attract high quality graduates into the teaching profession.
“The Teaching Apprenticeship Programme is a highly attractive option for both graduates and schools. It is simple and fee-free for graduates, offering them security and a clear route into a respected profession.
“For schools it is cost-effective in the short and long term. They can pay for it in-part through apprenticeship-levy funding and limit future retention issues by growing their own teachers. Schools should not miss out on this opportunity.”