Retaining teachers through an immersive teaching training route.

Data from the School Workforce Census shows that 67% of all NQT’s in Britain who commenced their teaching career in 2014, were not working as teachers in 2019. 

What is causing almost a third of all new teachers to walk away from the profession?

Now more than ever, we need to look at how we are training our teachers and consider that traditional PGCE’s may not provide the level of in-school immersion and mentorship needed for teachers to thrive within the profession. 

Apprenticeships and internships, along with higher-education training have been the way over time that so many important trades and professions have grown their own talent and retained quality staff.

We believe that a Teaching Apprenticeship pathway is the most supportive and smartest way to attract, train and retain quality graduates. We believe that an immersive teacher training programme, with multiple, expert mentors that are available to the trainee over the 12-month course, will be able to best nurture talent. The best news is that the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme (TAP)  is financially beneficial for both trainee and school. 

The Teaching Apprenticeship Programme offered through DfE approved ITT, e-Qualitas, offers trainee teachers a supportive and immersive route to gaining QTS. This hands-on, school-based approach to teacher training is gaining real popularity as an alternative to a traditional PGCE pathway for graduates to learn the profession. It is exciting to be partnering with alliances across England, to help schools take control and train their talent in house. 

We believe in school, Teaching Apprenticeships are the key to building quality, confident and capable NQT’s.

Gemma Longhurst, TAP trainee talks about her experience as a teaching apprentice,  “The e-Qualitas programmes provides trainees with a School-Based Trainer and an e-Qualitas Tutor who are both incredibly supportive and run training days and modules to support your development. Balancing work with completing training means the workload is full-on, but if you are well supported and with a good organisation, it is manageable.” gemma identifies that, “ It’s a tough job, but the care received means I can experiment and make mistakes, and it’s been a really enjoyable experience. I feel lucky to be at a school I love – I’m equally challenged and supported and it’s where I want to continue teaching.”

How does the Teaching Apprenticeship programme work? 

  1. Schools are now able to access their Apprenticeship Levy so they can offer unqualified teachers a 12-month pathway to gain QTS through the Teaching Apprenticeship programme. 
  2. The trainee is employed as an unqualified teacher by the school and an in-school mentor is assigned. They will also receive regular training through ITT provider, e-Qualitas and their expert tutors, as they complete the course work to gain QTS and pass their End Point Assessment.
  3. Schools can receive funding to cover some or all of their trainee’s salary and they are able to grow and shape their future teachers, in a supportive environment.
  4. A teaching apprenticeship is fee-free for the trainee and with a salary, they have more time to focus on their training and have a full year working in a school while being comprehensively mentored by a range of expert tutors.
  5. Schools can access the Teaching Apprenticeship programme, even if they are already connected with another SCITT.

The school benefits from having a Teaching Apprentice because; 

  1. The school is growing its own talent and gaining strong, capable NQT’s after they have completed their training, in just 12 months. 
  2. The school is able to trail potential graduates and then develop those that they see having long-term potential as permanent members of staff.
  3. Schools can access their Apprenticeship Levy and other funding, which makes hiring a teaching apprentice very cost-effective, and sometimes there is no cost at all to the school.
  4. After the Teaching Apprenticeship is complete, the school has a QTS trained teacher who is already embedded and settled in the school leading to higher long term retention. 

Some benefits for trainees to undertake a Teaching Apprenticeship are; 

  1. Unlike a PGCE, a Teaching Apprenticeship is fee-free and the trainee is paid on the unqualified teacher pay scale while they learn.
  2. A trainee is embedded in a school, they are not just receiving mentorship from an assigned school mentor ( that has undergone e-Qualitas training) but also with the expert tutors throughout their ITT course. 
  3. A trainee has greater access to other teachers and support staff at the school who are not official mentors but who can impart knowledge and give advice.
  4. The trainee has access to a huge range of resources available in a school and through their apprenticeship.
  5. The trainee can develop a deeper connection with the staff and students and the wider school community during their Teaching Apprenticeship, setting them up for a less intense NQT year, when they have to take on full classroom responsibilities. 

Our aim is that the graduates that undertake a Teaching Apprenticeship and feel so supported that they are better able to manage the rigours of teaching and not become part of the third of all British teachers that currently leave the profession in the first 5 years. 

The Teaching Apprenticeship Programme, (TAP) offers Trainee Teachers a well-supported route to QTS. The benefit of an in-school mentor and eQ tutor is invaluable and underpins the success we have and the retention we deliver schools.