3 November 2023

Teaching Apprenticeships

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There are few things less rewarding than being a teacher, shaping the lives of young people and inspiring them to be the best they can be.

Remember Miss Honey from Matilda? Wasn’t she amazing?

The best news is you don’t have to go to university to be a teacher. By doing a teaching apprenticeship, you’ll gain work experience, earn a salary AND avoid university debt too. 

Sounds pretty great to us.

Whether you want to become a primary or secondary school teacher, read our guide on all things teaching apprenticeships to find out how you can launch your career faster than the speed of light. Well, not quite. That’d be super quick.

Can you do an apprenticeship in teaching?

Yes, you can! If you’re a school leaver aged 16+ and interested in becoming a teacher, teaching apprenticeships are a brilliant place to start. You’ll get to work in a classroom straight away and support students (including those with special educational needs) with their learning.

Teaching apprenticeships allow you to combine work and study. As an apprentice, you’ll split your week between working for your employer, receiving on-the-job training, and studying towards nationally recognised qualifications at a college or training provider.

Not only that, you’ll get paid too. Does it get any better?

What do teaching apprenticeships involve?

Once you’ve signed up for your teaching apprenticeship, you’ll work as a teaching assistant in a primary, secondary or special needs school, supporting the class teacher and ensuring students are meeting all their learning objectives. Your responsibilities might include:

  • Listening to children read
  • Providing study support to those who need it
  • Helping teachers plan learning activities.

Generally, teachers set a curriculum and teaching assistants reinforce this curriculum. They’ll work with students and help them develop their understanding of a particular topic.   

Apprenticeships come in levels, with teaching apprenticeships starting at Level 3. This means you’ll need five GCSEs graded at 9 – 4 (A* – C) including passes in Maths and English to do one. 

Want to know what one teaching apprentice had to say about their Level 3 programme at LMP Group? Read on to find out.

“I assist students in lessons, attend regular meetings and CPD training, as well as run my own interventions with students who have the highest needs or as part of their EHCP need extra help. I work with students to improve their independence during lessons and with teachers to ensure students reach their top potential.

(Level 3 Teaching Apprentice, LMP Group)

How long are Level 3 teaching apprenticeships?

Level 3 teaching apprenticeships take around 18 months to complete, including an End Point Assessment (EPA) which you’ll sit during the final stage of your apprenticeship. This ensures you’ve developed the skills, knowledge and behaviours that were set out in your programme.

As an apprentice, you’ll work a minimum of 30 hours per week and a maximum of 40. Your schedule depends on your employer, but usually, it’s four days in the classroom, doing the practical side of your apprenticeship and one day off-the-job, focusing on independent study.  

Can’t decide what you want to do after school or college? Read our FREE digital guide to discover your career options and how to get started.

What happens after you finish your teaching apprenticeship?

Once you’ve finished your Level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll have a qualification equivalent to two A-Level passes. That’s lovely, but you’re probably wondering what to do with your shiny new certification. Luckily, there are plenty of options available.

Carry on as an apprentice 

If you’ve enjoyed your programme and found it helpful, you might decide to take your learning one step further and do a Level 4 apprenticeship. These apprenticeships, also known as higher apprenticeships, allow you to develop your Level 3 skills and take on more responsibility.

As a higher level apprentice, you’ll be:

  • Teaching classes on your own, covering teacher absences and planning activities
  • Responsible for writing reports and creating specialist curriculums
  • Engaging with parents on sensitive issues concerning their children.

You can do a Level 4 apprenticeship with the same employer or a completely new one. Similar to a Level 3, you’ll need to dedicate 20% of your time studying towards a qualification. Except now, your qualification will be equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree.

Move back in full-time education

Another option after you’ve finished your teaching apprenticeship is to move back into full-time education and study for a PGCE at university. This allows you to fine-tune everything you’ve learned at work and focus on the academic side of things. 

If you’re torn between university or an apprenticeship, you could always do a degree apprenticeship. Degree apprenticeships give you the best of both worlds:

  • They let you work and study towards a Bachelor’s degree at the same time
  • You won’t pay tuition fees, as the government and your employer cover them.

Go into full-time employment

Apprenticeships are work-based programmes that train you up for a role in your chosen sector. So that when you finish, you’re ready to go into full-time employment. They’re an alternative to traditional forms of learning. And are just as good as university.

Some might say they’re even better, as: 

  • University tends to be based around academic learning
  • Apprenticeships teach you the practical behind all that theory
  • You earn while you learn!

Employers love students who’ve got on-the-job experience as it shows they’re prepared for today’s working world and can hit the ground running.

Apprenticeships vs University: Which Option Is Best For You?

Knowledge is power. And in today’s day and age, knowledge can do anything – even change the world. As a teacher, you’ll be inspiring the next generation and leaving an everlasting impression that’ll pave their entire future. 

How’s that for a career?