Tes, the largest Subject Knowledge Enhancement provider and fifth-largest qualifier of teachers in England, is celebrating an innovative route into teaching and a way to upskill and professionalise Teaching Assistants (TAs), as part of National Apprenticeship Week (7th – 13th February).
Tes launched the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship and the Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship last September and the first learners are almost halfway through the programmes right now. In most cases, the cost of these education apprenticeships is almost completely covered by the government – there’s no cost for the school to pick up. And the apprentice doesn’t have to pay anything either – it’s a real win-win.
The Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship is a nationally recognised, Level 6, 15-month course, giving graduates all the skills they need to start teaching and awarding them Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the end. Apprentices train in school, participate in online learning and receive support from a Mentor in school and a Pathway Tutor.
Meanwhile the Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship is a 21-month course giving Teaching Assistants the pedagogy and expert support they need to carry out their roles in mainstream or specialist settings, while improving pupil achievement.
Most schools will have the course fees paid for by the Government, thanks to the Apprenticeship Levy. Even those that don’t pay the Levy will only have to pay 5% of the course fees, while the Government will pay the remaining 95%.
Both courses are incredibly flexible, shaped to the requirements of each learner and have rolling start dates throughout the year.
While schools across the country are struggling to recruit enough teachers and the pandemic has again demonstrated the amazing work done by teaching assistants in the classroom, these innovative routes into education could save schools thousands of pounds and provide the next generation of educators.
Ian Hunter, Global Director of Tes Institute said: “At Tes we believe in the value of great teachers and TAs. The Tes Institute has long been associated with high quality post graduate teacher training courses. Our apprenticeships for teachers and TAs now offer a new way for schools to build their workforce for the future, develop the skills of their talented existing staff and help to recruit new ambitious employees. They can do all this at no or very little cost, thanks to the Apprenticeship Levy, so this really represents a golden opportunity for schools.”
The apprenticeship courses are delivered using a blend of online learning, in class and face-to-face training, supported by a pathway tutor who has relevant experience in the classroom.
Ben Crane is a trainee maths teacher, undertaking the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship at Millbay Academy in Plymouth. Jason Trevarthen, Senior Deputy Headteacher and Head of Secondary at Millbank Academy, has been pleased with this innovative way of training a new teacher at the school.
Jason Trevarthen said: “This programme is supporting continual staff and Millbay Academy improvement, as well as Ben’s development as a teaching professional.
“As an apprentice in the Academy, Ben is working and developing skills in the classroom, linking theoretical aspects of teaching to practical delivery. Under the guidance of expert teachers at the Academy, enhanced by additional learning through the Tes programme, Ben is quickly improving his teaching expertise. I would recommend the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship to other schools who are keen to develop the next generation of teaching talent.”
Ben Crane said: “As a route into teaching, my Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship has been incredibly worthwhile and fulfilling. It’s allowed me to develop as a teacher, gain required qualifications and progress my teaching career without fees, gaining valuable classroom experience straight away.”
Tara Wright is a Teaching Assistant Apprentice at Pakeman Primary School in Islington, London.
Tara said: “I previously worked in hospitality but had always wanted to work in childcare. Following jobs in a playgroup and as a lunchtime supervisor in a primary school, I was offered the chance to be a TA working with a child with Special Educational Needs. I have now started the Level 3 Apprenticeship with Tes – it’s given me the chance to learn more skills and become much more confident as a TA. I’m now taking the lead in my year group for children with healthcare plans – this qualification is really helping my career. The school is showing that they believe in me by supporting me through the apprenticeship programme.”
The Tes Teaching Apprenticeships are awarded by NCFE, an educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning.
David Gallagher, NCFE’s Chief Executive commented: “At NCFE we believe that the quality of teaching is the single most important aspect of any learning experience. We simply cannot create transformational learning experiences without inspiring practitioners, so we’ve got to invest in our frontline workforce in education to help our educators be the best they can be. These new Teaching Apprenticeships offer an incredibly flexible way to do that, and crucially broaden opportunities for more people to get into teaching and TA roles.
“The impact of these apprenticeships will resonate for years to come, with the potential to inspire and create future generations, whilst creating prestige for apprenticeships which will both positively impact the economy and promote social mobility. We know there is a shortage of teachers across the UK, and this is one very accessible and cost-effective way to help.”
National Apprenticeship Week (7th- 13th Feb) is shining a light on these new Teaching Apprenticeships with the hope to raise awareness of this incredible cost effective and flexible way of getting more people into teaching. There are many activities the week including ‘Ask an Apprentice’ where people can ask the Tes Teaching Apprenticeship Course Directors and Pathway Tutors anything re this route, or even chat with current Teacher Apprentices to get advice.