Teaching apprenticeships - a solution to the teacher recruitment crisis?

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Last week, the government announced details of a new postgraduate teaching apprenticeship. The new route into teaching aims to do three things:

  1. contribute to the government’s public sector apprenticeship targets;
  2. allow schools to spend their apprenticeship levy pot; and
  3. increase the number of routes available to become a teacher.

What is a teaching apprenticeship and how will it work?

The postgraduate teaching apprenticeship is a school-led initial teacher-training route that combines paid work with on and off the job training, which leads to qualified teacher status (QTS).


Sound familiar?

The apprenticeship will work in a similar way to the government’s existing school direct salaried route, which also combines paid work within a school and training to achieve QTS status. The general structure of the training programme is the same as the school direct route, with the exception that the apprentice must spend 20% of their time off the job training. In addition, apprentices will have to meet the apprenticeship standard and pass an end-point assessment in their fourth term, after they have achieved QTS. The whole process takes 12 months.


Here is a quick overview of the new route:


Postgraduates will be able to apply for a teaching apprenticeship position through UCAS now, with training starting in September 2018.


Why should manufacturers care?


The new postgraduate teaching apprenticeship route will give schools the opportunity to spend their levy funds on the most important part of a school, teachers. Schools will therefore have greater financial leeway to offer more training places in subjects where traditional recruitment is difficult i.e. Chemistry, Maths and Physics. We hope to see more postgraduates who have degrees in these subjects entering the teaching profession so that young people are taught by teachers with deep subject specific knowledge. A good teacher with great subject knowledge will help bring a subject to life, dispelling misconceptions, and successfully articulate what a career in STEM entails.

Furthermore, with levy payers being able to transfer 10% of their levy pot from April 2018, postgraduate teaching apprenticeships could potentially offer manufacturers the opportunity to transfer some of their unused levy pot to a school – three quarters of firms worry they will not get back what they put in to the levy. Allowing transfers gives schools the ability to recruit a trainee teacher and have them work within the school from the start of their training. We would like to see this as it would no doubt help ease some of the recruitment shortages in STEM subjects for schools and allow manufacturers to use their levy pot.


The apprenticeship standards for the teaching apprenticeship can be found here, alongside the teacher standards that all newly qualified teachers will have to meet. Follow our People and Campaigns page for the latest information and consultation responses.



Education and Skills Policy Advisor

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