Teacher training graphic

Government introduces new teacher training apprenticeships

PAG Staff2024, Article, Leadership, Policy, Recruitment, Schools

Government introduces new
teaching apprenticeships

This autumn marks a revolutionary shift in the landscape of teacher training, recruitment, and education with the launch of a new teacher degree apprenticeship program. Aimed at transforming the way schools recruit teachers, this initiative is designed to support individuals who wish to earn while they study for a degree, offering a high-quality, alternative route into the teaching profession.

A new approach to teacher training

This innovative program caters especially to those unable to commit to full-time study, such as teaching assistants or existing school staff. It provides them with an accessible pathway to a rewarding career in teaching. Trainees will spend approximately 40% of their time studying with an accredited teacher training provider, working towards gaining their qualified teacher status (QTS). A significant advantage of this apprenticeship is that all tuition fees are covered, ensuring trainees can pursue their teaching aspirations without the burden of student debt.

Coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, the announcement underscores the government's commitment to apprenticeships as a means for people of all ages and backgrounds to forge successful careers across a vast array of fields, from healthcare and engineering to technology. Since 2010, over 5.7 million individuals have embarked on apprenticeships, with the government planning to increase investment in these programs to £2.7 billion by 2024-2025. This investment aims to create a talent pipeline essential for economic growth and is a testament to the apprenticeship's role in fostering a high-skill, high-productivity economy.

A "game-changing opportunity"

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan highlighted the teacher degree apprenticeship as a "game-changing opportunity" for schools to cultivate and retain talent, offering apprentices the necessary knowledge and skills to educate future generations. With teacher numbers reaching record highs, up by 27,000 since 2010, the government is investing £196 million this academic year to attract more teachers across key subjects. The teacher degree apprenticeship is set to enhance these efforts by diversifying the routes into teaching and ensuring that schools nationwide can continue to recruit top teaching talent.

The program is not only a boon for individuals without degrees, such as the nearly 400,000 teaching assistants in state-funded schools in England, but also for the education sector at large. It promises to open doors for those aspiring to transition into teaching roles, facilitating their career progression in the classroom. Additionally, with almost 90% of 16 to 17-year-olds engaged in education or apprenticeships by the end of 2022, and a notable increase in apprenticeship starts among young people, the importance of attracting and retaining teachers in critical subjects like English and maths has never been more pressing.

To kickstart this new teacher training initiative, the government will launch a pilot scheme collaborating with select schools and teacher training providers. This scheme will fund up to 150 apprentices to teach maths in secondary schools, with training set to commence in the following year. The development of the teacher degree apprenticeship, led by an employer-led trailblazer group including the South Farnham Educational Trust, aims to ensure the program's quality and relevance to schools' needs.

As degree-level apprenticeships gain popularity, the teacher degree apprenticeship stands out for its potential to significantly impact the teaching profession. By offering a work-based route to a degree and QTS, it opens up new possibilities for aspiring teachers, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, to contribute to societal transformation through education. This initiative not only aims to enrich the teaching workforce but also to empower individuals to pursue their passion for teaching without financial constraints, heralding a new era in teacher recruitment and professional development.