We have received the following email for dissemination from Sue Shoveller, the new Chair of the Teacher Apprenticeship Trainblazer Group.  It is absolutely vital that we have as many responses as possible to these questions so that we can present evidence to the IfA around the demand (or not) for a degree apprenticeship (i.e. an undergraduate school-based route).  

Please can I ask that you email your responses to me for collation and forwarding to Sue prior to 1st May.  

Good afternoon

We are sure you will be aware of the newly-launched Post-Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship that is available from September 2018-19 and will know that this provision is running concurrently with the School Direct Salaried Route, at present. This route into teaching was developed to provide additionality to ITT and also to allow schools to draw down their Apprenticeship Levy for the purpose of teacher training.

The Post-Graduate Apprenticeship Standard was designed with a review date after twelve months.  This process has now begun and we are considering the options that might best serve the purpose of further developing the quality and range of teacher apprenticeship provision.

As a provider of ITT and holder of local knowledge I am writing to you, as a starting point, to ask whether you have evidence relating to a demand/need for a widening of scope  in  teacher apprenticeship that includes the possibility of undergraduate entry onto a 4/5 year programme with the end point qualifications being a degree and QTS. This would be termed a Degree Apprenticeship.

Below are some questions and we would be most grateful if you could respond to them to assist the Trailblazer (Employers’ Group) as we begin, in conjunction with the DfE and the IfA to review the current Post-Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship.

  • Do you perceive a demand for an undergraduate apprenticeship entry into teaching i.e. a Degree Apprenticeship?
  • Would you use and promote such a route and if so can you estimate to what extent (number) of trainees you might envisage?
  • Have you any other comments?

I would be very grateful for your response by May 1st as the Trailblazer Group meets on May 2nd and it would be good to have a range of views to inform the discussion.

Best Wishes

Susan Shoveller Chair: Trailblazer Employers’ Group

Deputy CEO

South Farnham Educational Trust


  1. David Parker on April 24, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Degree Apprenticeship
    • Do you perceive a demand for an undergraduate apprenticeship entry into teaching i.e. a Degree Apprenticeship?
    • Would you use and promote such a route and if so can you estimate to what extent (number) of trainees you might envisage?
    • Have you any other comments
    I can see as the teacher recruitment crisis deepens over the next few years that we would have to start to look seriously at a Degree Apprenticeship route. We are fortunate that although we are a state comprehensive, we have a successful, academic Sixth Form with relatively large numbers doing A levels in shortage subjects – therefore we may well be able to recruit onto such a programme our own students – if the financial inducements were good for the students and not too onerous on the school. A concern would be that we would benefit from this, whilst less academic and 11-16 schools would not be able to recruit well in competition with us. It would also be essential that the subject element of the degree be of a high standard, led by an accredited HEI provider and have equity at the end of the course for the students.
    We happen to be a Lead School for School Direct with 20 secondary schools using us for their ITT provision – if this route is launched we would certainly promote it and recruit actively – not because we fully endorse this approach, but because we would have no choice in a competitive market place. I would hope that we could replicate our School Direct Numbers and have healthy numbers each year.
    A significant issue, however will be finance and mentoring capacity. Currently each mentor gives up a minimum of an hour a week of teaching time – they do this for a year and we get one NQT at the end – the vast majority of our ITTs take up NQT posts within the partnership this represents a good return on investment and our Headteachers buy into that. A 4/5 year programme, requiring a similar amount of mentoring will only produce one qualified teacher – a commitment of that nature is not likely to be possible in large numbers, given the current funding crisis and subsequent pressure on schools to maximize staff teaching time.
    Although we are a relatively large school, 1200 students, we do not pay enough Apprenticeship Levy to support a number of Degree Apprenticeships and currently have an effective scheme for developing lower level apprenticeships for support staff, IT technicians and TAs, that uses it all up and delivers good returns for them and us.
    Along with generous financial support/inducement for schools taking on such apprentices parental support will be vital, if they are to commit their children to 4-5 years of training they must be convinced of the schemes merits, quality and equity with other degree routes. How a government that seems to have rushed the Post Graduate Teacher Apprenticeship scheme (to the point that it seems to be stuttering into existence, with little support within the profession, or ITT providers) will overcome their miss-givings and caution will be interesting to see.

  2. Jane Adamson on April 24, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    We have not perceived any demand for an undergraduate apprenticeship route into teaching but if one was available we would be involved. There are already too many routes into teaching and this is potentially one of the many reasons applicants are not choosing to train – it is too confusing. The GTA is not yet embedded with many providers only just able or still unable to offer it. There has been little perceived interest from schools or applicants for the GTA either at this stage.

Leave a Comment