From education to employment

Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training: The pathway to teaching apprenticeships

Sir Andrew Carter OBE

Teacher training development is actually a big thing, we will need 35,000 new teachers a year, slightly more than that now I guess. Very easy to remember the number we need, it’s the size of the British Navy, which means we are recruiting two teachers a minute, every day of the year.

This is quite a big job and they are all graduates in a graduate market where people don’t get paid too much into teaching. Although I read the other day £38,000 a year is the average price of a teacher now, but of course some of the academy chiefs probably boost that little average up a little bit.

But what we’ve got to say is that teaching is still a very favoured profession. People do like to go into teaching, particularly if they had great experiences in school.

Personal Experiences

We all remember some story from school and it’s a story rarely about learning in the accepted curriculum sense, it’s about some value that they gave to us. We remember the teacher who really wasn’t very kind, remember the teacher who treated us unfairly.

I work in a primary school and the primary school is based in an old secondary grammar school, girls school in Farnham, Farnham Grammar School, the old girls the come round once a year and they have a look.

We went into a library which she remembered going into and she became really, it was a woman in your 50s, was quite sort of emotional about the library, and I said what was the problem, she said in the room, when she was young, she had… of course you go to a library in silence those days and read your book, and somebody had spoken and the teacher told the person off, she told the wrong person off, and the person she told off was her friend.

So, she made the arch sin the 50s of speaking up and saying, no, no, no you’ve got that wrong. Not only is now she’s in trouble, she’s told the teacher that she was wrong. Anyway, she answered back a few times and it all went wrong. She had to go and see the headteacher, and the headteacher never liked her after that. Then she said, “because of that I left the school and didn’t do my GCSEs and I never became the doctor I wanted to be”. She related it all back to some experience of just unhappiness.

Most of us have got better stories than that, we’ve got teachers who looked after us and did lovely things. I love those stories when people say, he was a marvellous teacher, he used to get this blackboard rubber and he’d throw it at you. What a marvellous man he was, you know, but he was a marvellous man because it was probably a low throw.


Let’s think a little bit about teachers in school. I think, wellbeing is the biggest thing I would say to any teachers about looking after teachers.

Wellbeing is not about work / life balance, there’s a danger of talking about work / life balance, because it is a balance, work, life, some people have got too much life, that’s why it doesn’t work, and that’s why we in school need to have flexible working for people.

We’ve got very low numbers of part-time teachers and we need to reflect upon that, how we can use them in different ways, but don’t give a part-time teacher a full-time job, because that’s unfair, because that’s not what they have asked for, you have to be flexible about that.


Looking after teachers is also about having a culture of sharing with them your expertise so they want to stay in the profession.

Now it’s not surprising that after 3 years people start to leave teaching, 3 to 4 years.

It’s not really surprising because that’s when anybody would leave any career. After 3 or 4 years you’re deciding is this for me or am I kicking on to the next phase?

Well there will be a group of people who it isn’t quite working out for them, remember £35,000 a year and there’s going to be people who it isn’t right for, but we must make sure in schools we are giving teachers the opportunity to move on to the next phase. We’ve also got to think about, very carefully about the people we bring in, and that’s where I will start to talk a little bit about apprenticeships.


We had teachers that come into school, when I trained to be a teacher, you know, you went to university, you got your training and then you became a teacher, that was the accepted route.

There were a few people who had been trained and left and came back, but now we have School-centred initial teacher training. There are people, you know up to 50, some people are very young, there’s a range of people.

There are people coming in who have 20 years really valuable, wonderful experience, they aren’t leaving a profession because they can’t do it, they’ve chosen to become teachers and we must accept that skill that they bring in.

Now the thing about apprenticeships is, it is fundamentally change, it starts from September, we are having 6 in our school, out of all the 120 [applications] there were only 6 that would probably be appropriate for it.

Now these people will come in, and here is the culture change in schools, they are actually not supernumerary, they are teachers on an apprentice teacher scheme, that means that they are not a TA, they can’t do those jobs, there will be elements of those jobs, well teachers do elements of the TA job, but we’ve got to decide that they come in and they have to be paid.

Unqualified Teachers

So, the concept of unqualified teachers is sometimes not popular, people don’t like that, but an apprentice is unqualified, and just think what apprenticeships are about, these are apprentices sitting at the feet of the master, the master teacher, the teacher who is strong and great and learning.

Some of them will learn very quickly, but they will have to, once again, be unqualified teachers in your school but doing the teachers’ role. So, we have to, in schools, change our cultures, we have to change it quite quickly.  

Maintaining Contact

Remember the people that come into schools, everybody… to be a teacher, everyone has actually been in school for 18 years, probably, not 18 years, 15 years, depending, you know, when they joined up.

Now we get them in schools, how many of you tell your pupils when they leave, how many of you send them a birthday card on their 19th birthday and say, how are you, how is university, or whatever they are doing, on their 20th. On their 21st do any of you say leaving university, would you like to be a teacher, we can offer you an apprenticeship, we can offer you all sorts of routes in, come and see us. Offer them jobs.  

This isn’t actually a very arduous task, I mean a computer does all this for you, so it’s easy to do, but 20,000 schools in England, there or thereabouts, 35,000 trainees, if every school trained one teacher we are two thirds of the way there, if every school trained two teachers we’ve got a surplus, it’s as simple and as complicated as that.

Just ask yourself rhetorically, how many teachers have you trained in the last 10 years, do you have a recruitment problem? They are actually in our community.

Why Is It So Complicated?

If I visited your school today, and I visited virtually on to your website, would there be a bidding to be a teacher, is there a way of us, when I go to your school, knowing to whom I should speak and knowing where I would go.

Is there somebody in your school who is the expert, so when someone calls at the hatch and says, I don’t suppose you do teacher training here, there’s someone who says yes, we will get Mrs Smith, she will know all about this.

Because what we say is, because it’s easy, it’s really complicated to be a teacher, look at all the routes in. Well it’s really complicated to be anything until you know how to do it.

So, someone in your school should know how to do it, because if you’re 21, troops into teaching isn’t going to be one for you, is it, so you could actually say, here’s the 3 routes that suit you, this is what we offer, we’ve got to be inclusive.

We have a school led system. Now it isn’t really school led because that’s saying there’s one group versus another group, there’s the schools leading it in conjunction with the DfE, in conjunction with all the other partners, but we are the group that actually need the teachers, we should be making them, and the apprenticeship scheme is a great at doing that particular thing.


Mentoring came out of my review, and it’s come out again, and again, you cannot throw someone in a classroom without looking after them.

You need to look after them, not by someone saying how are you, you know, is it alright. You need to have somebody who is really working with them.

Working Hours

In your schools when do you expect your teachers to arrive, when do you expect them to leave?

My schools, and we have four schools in our Trust, they are expected to come around 8, I actually come in at half past 7, but there-ish, just a sort of broad thing, and to leave at 6, but nobody is allowed to do work at home, because if they have to do work at home they have the right to tell me, and we have the duty to change the system.

We went to Birmingham and there’s a teaching review, a round table, a big square table, and when we went there were students on one side, and we were all having a coffee, the pre, sort of, session chat, and one of the tutors said, “I like to get up at 5 in the morning because I like to be back home by 8 at night.” And one of the teachers said, “Oh I actually am a bit later, I go in a bit later because I go home and look after children and I go on until midnight.”

And there are these people joining teaching listening to these nutcases saying that they work 15 hours a day.

No one works 15 hours a day. People will tell you they do. 12 hours work a day is you start at 8 in the morning, you don’t have any coffee breaks, you don’t have any chat, and you go right through to 8 o’clock at night, that isn’t what we do.

We take 12 hours to do it, what we’ve got to be is really clever about this.

Achieving Your Dreams

Finally, can I just say this, the way to achieve your dreams is to wake up, know where you want to go and stop finding reasons why we can’t do it, the apprenticeship route is really, really a good route for some people.

It’s expensive but it will just have to be built into account, and I do think now we do need to work out exactly what funding for school is charged, what we are actually expected to do because there’s quite a lot of expense around that.

And finally remember this, teachers do not want a job, they want a career and they will go to the schools that provide a career.

Sir Andrew Carter, OBE, Chief Executive Officer, South Farnham Educational Trust

Despite best endeavours to ensure accuracy, text based on transcription may contain errors which could alter the intended meaning of any portion of the reported content. Speakers have not had the opportunity for any corrections.

Postgraduate teaching apprenticeships: funding manual 2018 to 2019

DfE today (16 Jul) updated their guidance on Postgraduate teaching apprenticeship: funding manual 2018 to 2019 for initial teacher training (ITT) places for schools and ITT providers.

This funding manual provides information to schools and ITT providers on postgraduate teaching apprenticeship grant funding in England, including:

  • criteria and requirements
  • funding rates and funded subjects
  • how payments are made
  • reconciliation, assurance and audit.

The postgraduate teaching apprenticeship is an ITT route that combines paid work with off-the-job training, qualifications, and progression. It allows candidates to train to become qualified teachers.

Further funding guidance for schools and ITT providers for 2018 to 2019, including bursaries, scholarships and School Direct (salaried) grants is available at Funding: initial teacher training (ITT), academic year 2018 to 19.



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