Emma Finamore, Editor, AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

The idea of an apprenticeship route into teaching is back on the table after three years, and should be welcomed during this #backtoschool season.

It could make the profession more accessible to a wider range of people, and result in better, more diverse careers guidance for pupils.

In late September, education minister Gavin Williamson said he was in favour of a teaching apprenticeship for non-graduates - rekindling attempts to develop an undergraduate degree apprenticeship route, which surfaced in 2016 but have since stalled.

An apprenticeship route into teaching could not only be important in terms of opening up the career path to those who are unable to – or cannot – attend university, but would be positive for pupils’ career guidance. Having teachers and role models who have taken a different career path to the standard “A-levels and university” route could be inspiring to young people.

At the moment schools are obliged to give equal credence to all post-16 and 18 options, but how can we expect apprenticeships to be afforded the same status as university when almost all school staff have attended the former, and almost none experienced the latter? Teachers who have attained their qualifications and positions via an apprenticeship could be real-life examples

We all know that university is becoming increasingly expensive, but there are other reasons many aspiring teachers might prefer to take another path to the career.

British universities are experiencing a surge in student anxiety, breakdowns and depression - according to a report, “inside the student mental health crisis” - and there has been a sharp rise in students dropping out. Of the 2015 intake, 26,000 left in their first year, for example.

Giving aspiring teachers another option aside from university could be advantageous for those who want to avoid the stress of the academic life and would cope better training in a different way.

Experts point (rightly) to the issue of cost as being a major barrier when it comes to seeing teaching apprenticeships to fruition. The £9,000-a-year training costs, with the annual salary of about £27,000 for an unqualified teacher, means schools could end up paying well over £100,000 to train a new member of staff.

Furthermore, the government has insisted that a trainee who’s paid less than an unqualified teacher cannot be left in an unsupervised position.

However, as it stands schools have paid millions into the apprenticeship levy since it launched in April 2017, but have struggled to find ways to spend any money at all from the training fund because there are not enough education-specific routes. Wouldn’t it make more sense to develop ways for them to draw down on what they’ve paid into the apprentice pot?

Critics of the idea also claim it threatens the “graduate-only status” of the profession, but surely it’s the nuts and bolts of teaching - that could be learnt on an apprenticeship - that have an impact on how a teacher does their job, and the experience of their students, not that they were capable of earning an undergraduate degree before they embarked on their teacher training?

Apprentice teaching assistant Kate Rowbotham hit the nail on the head in an interview earlier this year, demonstrating how having an undergraduate degree seems quite separate from the ability to be a effective in the classroom. “Some people ask why I am doing an apprenticeship when I already have a degree,” Kate said.

“Actually, this is completely different because it is linked to the career I have chosen. I want to go to work and do a really good job and this is giving me the skills and knowledge to be able to do that. It’s not about the status, it’s about training on the job and getting better at it, for the benefit of the children.”

Emma Finamore, Editor, AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

Emma Finamore Newsroom Strap

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page