Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Teacher Apprentice?, Apprentices must have a degree and meet the teacher training entry standards to join the programme. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) has been recognised as a Level 6 apprenticeship by IfATE (https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/teacher-v1-0)
How do schools get an apprentice?Schools need to advertise a teacher apprenticeship job. The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub can advise employers. Please contact their Director Clare Oberman, (co@painsley.staffs.sch.uk). the school then needs to liaise with Staffordshire University to ensure that the apprentice meets the minimum entry requirements. Once the employer, apprentice and University are content a detailed partnership agreement will be issued. This clarifies the responsibilities for each of the three parties (employer, apprentice and University). The University’s Apprenticeships team will liaise with the employer to ensure that the necessary financial and legal requirements are adhered to.
How does an apprentice apply for a place?The Golden Thread Teaching School Hub will set up the necessary course profile on the DfE’s apply system. This will then be opened for recruitment. Your employee can then apply for the course via the DfE’s Apply website. The University will then arrange an interview time with you.
Does an apprentice need an interview?Yes. A member of the University’s apprenticeship team will be part of the interview process. This is to help the employer to judge whether the applicant is suitable for the full apprenticeship programme. If successful the apprentice can then be made either a conditional or unconditional offer depending on their circumstances. The University will require additional information to satisfy the Education Skills Funding Agency apprenticeship eligibility requirements and so a pro -forma will be issued subsequent to a successful interview process.
Does the apprentice need a second school placement?Yes. Apprentices undertake two placements. The main one is with the employing school. The second takes place in a contrasting school. During the second placement the apprentice will NOT be working at their employing school BUT will still be paid by them. The University will support the identification of a suitable placement.
When does the second school placement occur?The second school placement occurs in the spring term and consists of 30 days. This will be spread across 7 weeks with 1 day off the job training each week. The apprentice will be employed by you during this time, even though they won’t be in your school.
Does the apprentice need to be employed fulltime and in a teaching role to undertake the PG Teacher Apprenticeship?Yes. The applicant will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week full time as an unqualified teacher. Their contract needs to run until at least the end of the apprenticeship period. The University will support you in ensuring that the apprentice has sufficient responsibility for class sizes and curriculum requirements to enable them to generate the evidence needed for them to meet the Standard.
Can Teaching Assistant apply?The Teaching Assistant (TA) can apply, but they need to meet the entry criteria, including holding a recognised degree qualification. By the start of the apprenticeship period they need to be employed as an unqualified teacher and in a role that enables them to meet the Knowledge Skills and Behaviours as defined in the Teacher Apprenticeship Standard.
Can special schools and / or independent schools employ a teacher apprentice?Independent schools can employ a teacher apprentice, as can special schools. In both contexts the curriculum and age ranges that the apprentice is responsible for must enable them to meet the Standards and be fully compliant with the current ITT regulations. In the case of apprentices employed in a special school, their second placement will need to be in a mainstream setting.
How much does it cost the school?The school will need to pay the apprentice teacher a salary. Payment must be in line with the employer’s pay policy. There may be some bursary payments available for some subjects – these vary annually due to the DfE policy priorities.
What does the school need to have in place?” The school needs to provide an experienced member of staff who will act as the mentor for the trainee. The mentor needs to be released for mentor training (20 hours) plus weekly support for the apprentice (1.5 hours per week).
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Do apprentices need to complete ITaPs?Yes, the criteria for apprenticeship routes into teaching are subject to the same compliance criteria as non-apprenticeship routes. Apprentices will benefit from four ITaPs (Intensive Training and Placement experiences) across their training. Each ITaP consists of 25 hours training and schools will be required to release the apprentices to fully participate in this required element of the training.
How much is the apprenticeship course and who pays the fee?The apprenticeship programme fee is £9,000. This is paid by the school but is drawn down from the apprenticeship levy.
What agreements need to be signed?As an employer you will need to sign an Employer Agreement, Apprenticeship Agreement and a Partnership Agreement. The Commitment Statement is a three-way document between the employer, apprentice and the University.
What does the training programme consist of?Staffordshire University’s programme takes place on a Friday. Apprentices will benefit from taught sessions (sometimes with the fee paying PGCE students), online sessions and bespoke individual sessions.
What age ranges and subjects do you Staffordshire University offer?“Staffordshire University will support apprenticeships in age groups from 5-16, across a range of subjects. If the University does not currently offer a subject required by an employer, then the University will work with the school to offer a bespoke programme.
What is an EPA?The EPA is the End Point Assessment process. This involves a judgement made of the apprentice against the professional Teacher’s Standards by an external provider. The assessment process is set out nationally and involves both an observation of the apprentice teaching as well as a professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence.
When do apprentices get QTS and does the school have to employ them?“After the apprenticeship training period, apprentices will have an ‘end point assessment’ (EPA)with an external assessor. This will also trigger the University to recommend the apprentice for the award of QTS.
The school is not obliged to employ the after the apprenticeship period. .”
When does the course start?To support apprentices within the academic year, the course starts August 2024. Apprentices should then be undertaking their EPA in Sept/Oct 2025.
Can an apprentice have a full-time ECT timetable in the autumn term before their EPA?Yes. After the ward of QTS but before the EPA is completed, the apprentice has the same status as any ECT. It may be possible, in some exceptional circumstances for some apprentices to benefit from a shorter ECT period. This will be determined on an individual basis, with the needs of the apprentice being paramount. We are ambitious to ensure that apprentices are supported within the profession alongside ECTs from other routes.