Government approves new teacher apprenticeship


The government has officially rubber-stamped proposals for a new apprenticeship for teachers, Schools Week can reveal.

The Institute for Apprenticeships has today confirmed that the teacher apprenticeship “standard” – which sets out the training and assessment content of the course – has been approved.

It means that the new apprenticeship, developed by a group of schools and pioneered by teacher training tsar Sir Andrew Carter, is now only awaiting its “funding band allocation” before it can be delivered. The first set of apprentice teachers will start next September.

We anticipate delivery of the training from September 2018

The new route into teaching, which will be a level six apprenticeship open only to existing graduates, has been several years in the making.

According to Carter, the apprenticeship will last for four school terms, starting in September each year. Trainees will achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) during the third term, and will complete their end-point assessment in the first term of their NQT year.

The assessment process for QTS will be the same as it is on other routes like School Direct, and continuing into the NQT year will depend on candidates achieving it.

Trainees will then be assessed during their first term of full-time work. This could involve an interview or lesson observation.

In order to get onto the apprenticeship, trainees will already need a degree, and will still have to pass the QTS skills test before they start, as they currently do on other routes.

Carter has hailed the standard’s approval as “a step-change in teacher education”.

“We now recognise that schools sit at the heart of teacher training,” he told Schools Week. “No doubt it will be adapted into all sorts of different routes, especially as we move into the possibility of enhanced QTS. If every school trained someone, we would have more than half of the new teachers we need. If every school trained two people we would have a surplus of teachers.

“People say there are a lot of routes, and it’s challenging. I don’t share that view. I think there are lots of routes so lots of different people can become teachers. It is very exciting.”

Further details will not be announced until the funding rate – the amount schools will have to pay for the training – is confirmed.

It is the first teacher apprenticeship to be approved by the government, and follows the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. Under the levy, schools with a payroll bill of over £3 million have to pay into the levy pot, and can then use funds from it to train their staff.

“The teacher apprenticeship has been approved but is awaiting final funding band allocation from DfE before it can be delivered,” said a spokesperson for the Institute for Apprenticeships.

“We anticipate delivery of the training from September 2018.”

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