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Lancaster school accredited to lead teacher apprenticeships

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A Lancaster school has been accredited to deliver apprenticeships to help more people reach qualified teacher status.

Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy is the first school in the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay area to be approved to run teaching apprenticeship programmes as part of its accredited Initial Teacher Training (ITT) provision.

The approval now means that staff across the North West can complete a 12-month teacher apprenticeship, studying while they work with a view to reaching Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

The apprenticeships allow staff, such as teaching assistants, to study to become teachers without them having to leave school to start a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or take on a student loan. It also creates a more accessible route for new graduates to reach qualified teacher status. Training costs for apprenticeships are generally covered by the government’s apprenticeship levy, while the apprentice can continue to work and earn a salary while they study.

The first cohort of teacher apprentices will start in June, working and studying at Ripley ITT which was classed as an ‘outstanding’ teaching training provider on its most recent inspection by the regulator Ofsted.

Ripley St Thomas is one of the four schools managed by the Bay Learning Trust, a family of schools in the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay area and the only small, local, multi academy trust.

Catherine Walmsley, Principal at Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, said:

“We’re delighted to have been approved to run teacher apprenticeships, which open up a range of career opportunities for people in the local community to train to become a qualified teacher.

“Industries across the UK are making the most of apprenticeships which allow people to earn a salary while they learn a trade and it’s a positive step forward that people in Lancaster can now get straight into teaching and qualify on the job.”

The Bay Learning Trust is the only academy trust in the area which focuses solely on education in Lancaster and Morecambe. Other schools managed by the Bay Learning Trust include Morecambe Bay Academy, Carnforth High School and Central Lancaster High School.

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