So, you’re considering training to become a teacher. Does that mean going back to university and applying for student loans all over again? Not necessarily.
Today, there are more routes into teaching available, and the traditional PGCE course isn’t your only option.
The postgraduate teaching apprenticeship was first launched in 2018, and gives trainee teachers the opportunity to train on the job, without paying any tuition fees and without needing a huge amount of experience.
Who is the teaching apprenticeship course for?
The postgraduate teaching apprenticeship is perfect for people who want to train to teach on the job while also getting paid.
It’s an alternative to a traditional full-time university course but it still offers a postgraduate-level qualification. You can either apply for the primary route (pupils aged between 5e and 11) or secondary (students aged between 11 and 18).
What qualifications or experience do I need?
Applicants should have achieved the equivalent of a grade 4 in GCSE English and maths. Those who want to teach pupils aged between 3 and 11 should also have a grade 4 GCSE in a science subject. Applicants should also have a degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.
However, applicants who could be suitable but haven’t got a GCSE grade 4 may be given an opportunity to show that they can meet the required standard either by taking an equivalence test or by offering other evidence of attainment, which should demonstrate a similar level and breadth.
What qualifications will I get out of it?
Once your teaching apprenticeship is completed, you will achieve qualified teacher status (QTS), and will be able to apply for teaching jobs across the country. As well as gaining QTS, you’ll learn to:
- Set high expectations that inspire, motivate and challenge pupils.
- Promote good progress and outcomes for pupils.
- Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge.
- Plan and teach well-structured lessons.
- Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils.
- Make accurate and productive use of assessment.
- Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment.
- Fulfil wider professional responsibilities.
How is it delivered and how long does it take to complete?
The teaching apprenticeship is a level 6 (degree-level) course, and takes 12 months to complete. You will be employed by the school for a minimum of 12 months during your initial teacher training (ITT).
At the end of the course, you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) and then complete a final assessment – an end-point assessment – to pass the apprenticeship. The assessment will include a lesson observation and a professional discussion.
Every apprenticeship is required to have a 20 per cent off-the-job training element, which means that while the majority of your time will be spent in a school, some time will also be spent with your education provider.
Training is delivered by a Department for Education-approved ITT provider. The government’s Find an Apprenticeship tool is the best way to find local education providers near you. Once you have applied through an education provider, they will match you with a workplace.
What does it cost and is there funding available?
Both your salary and training costs will be paid by the school or School Direct partnership.
Training costs are around £9,000, and are covered by schools through the apprenticeship levy; a dedicated pot of funding that schools receive to fund apprenticeships.
If your school doesn’t pay into the levy, they can opt to make a 5 per cent contribution towards the training cost, and the government will pay the remaining 95 per cent.
You will not be eligible for an ITT training bursary or student finance, but you will be paid in line with at least point one on the unqualified teachers’ pay scale.
Clare Cook is a freelance journalist